Trellis project not a done deal



There seems to be an assumption in some circles that the Vancouver Coast Health (VCH)/Trellis contract is a fait accompli, that this will go ahead in spite of the concerns about and opposition to the “deal.” Some of us are working hard to try to reverse that decision and it is clear that many people support our efforts.

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The Trellis presentation at the District of Sechelt’s committee of the whole on Nov. 2 was a slick marketing job punctuated with assurances that “nothing will change.”  We are asked to take their word for it, but so far VCH has not released any information contained in their contract with Trellis. Why the secrecy? In fact, VCH is nowhere to be seen.

VCH prides itself on community engagement and has a program called the Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN). It invites patient and public involvement and asks the public to join them “and add your voice to public health and decision-making.” The CEAN is composed of volunteers working with staff to explore “how to improve patient and client experience, discuss new opportunities for client and patient-centred care and consider the impact and effect of new strategies from the public perspective.” What happened? There wasn’t any community input to the discussion around the decision to award this contract to a private for-profit corporation.

If VCH reversed its decision and engaged in meaningful dialogue and consultation with the community, we could all move forward with a “made on the Sunshine Coast” plan for seniors’ residential care.

Michelle Chapman, member of Protect Public Health Care - Sunshine Coast

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