Some things just need to be said...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Care for seniors on steady decline under Campbell

Update April 5, 2005

"However, although the Vancouver Island Health Authority is in the midst of churning out 612 new beds over the next few years -- the majority of which have been previously announced -- the health authority refused Monday to provide a printed running list of existing and planned beds, citing board confidentiality. Only a verbal relay of the numbers was provided." - Victoria Times Colonist

Does this sound like the last Gordon Campbell promise, 5,000 additional beds? It does, more broken promises.

Long-term care and home health services in BC on steady decline

Another Broken promise by the Campbell Liberals. This report is a sad reflection of the Campbell governments priorities.

See the Continuing Care Renewal or Retreat: BC Residential and Home Health Care Restructuring 2001-2004 report here.

Here are the reports findings in brief from the media release...

These are the central findings of Continuing Care Renewal or Retreat: BC Residential and Home Health Care Restructuring 2001-2004, released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study documents the actual changes in the number of beds and services available to seniors and people with disabilities, using information gathered from the health authorities and the provincial and federal governments during a detailed province-wide audit.

The study finds that:

• There has been a net decrease of 1,464 long-term care beds since 2001— even after accounting for new assisted living units. Between 2001 and December 2004, BC cut 2,529 residential care beds and added only 1,065 assisted living units to the system.

• Home support (personal care) has also been cut since 2001. Relative to the population of BC seniors aged 75 and over, there has been a 13 percent decline as of 2003 in home support hours, and a 21 percent decline in number of clients. Home care (professional nursing) hours and clients declined by 8 percent.

• Along with New Brunswick, BC now has the lowest level of access to residential care beds in Canada for seniors aged 75 and over, falling 13 percent below the national average. The number of clients served by BC’s home health care services (as a share of the population aged 75 and over) has fallen to 30 percent below the national average.

• Cuts to continuing care were made at the same time as more than 1,200 hospital beds were closed, and while BC’s population is aging.

• The cuts have created significant inequality in access to services between the health regions. Seniors living in the Vancouver Coastal or Northern Health Authority have far ‘better’, though still inadequate, access to residential care than people living in the Fraser, Vancouver Island or Interior Health Authorities. The cuts to acute care and home health services have also been much deeper in some regions than others.

See CBC Vancouver and CKNW

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