Re: “Our seniors can’t wait forever,” Editorial, Nov. 9.
Your question of last week isn’t as straightforward as it appears. At this point, thanks to the absolute silence of Vancouver Coastal Health on the seniors’ care issue, no one wants to abandon the idea of a facility until the community sits down with the health “bosses” and negotiates a viable solution. According to John Gleeson’s editorial, the District of Sechelt and local activists have played a role in slowing progress on the care facility. I would suggest that the blame lies more with VCH for choosing an inappropriate site, on Trellis for its inadequate application and on the B.C. government for insisting on the privatization of seniors’ health care in the new facility. Gleeson’s editorial is certainly right that “no movement is apparent.”
Ten thousand people signed a petition to replace Shorncliffe and Totem Lodge with a public facility. Our MLA has seriously weakened his strong position on public care in spite of loudly voiced community sentiment. Many of us follow research and reports on public versus private care and know that folks live longer with a better quality of life in a public facility. Let’s be clear: when shovels finally go in the ground after approvals and plans are complete, no new facility will be available for several years. The need for 128 beds (simply replacing Shorncliffe and Totem) will have multiplied several times. Do the math. We have a huge seniors’ population and are being offered a replacement-only facility, years in the future, whose profit-seeking mandate will likely compromise the care and longevity of its patients. On behalf of fellow Coast residents who may someday need quality care, I say that’s not good enough!
Gail Riddell, Sechelt