VCH delivers half the facts

Editor:

After reading the letter in Coast Reporter by VCH director Lauren Tindall  (“VCH defends care home plan,” June 24), I feel that a rebuttal is necessary. I will assert that her comments are correct as far as she has been prepared to state. Yes, the beds in the new Silverstone Care Facility will be publicly funded. And no, it will not be a P3 (public-private partnership). This one could be called a P4P – private-for-profit!

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The Silverstone Group has not entered into this deal with VCH as a public service – they expect to make money. And with pre-agreed funding in place, Silverstone’s ability to do that will be somewhat limited. They might reduce wages and staffing levels. They might serve cheaper meals, or offer fewer activities. Profit, not quality of care, will be the main objective. The past failure of these “for-profit” facilities is a matter of record, as stated in Sean Eckford’s article in the same edition of Coast Reporter. The Wexford Creek facility in Nanaimo, a sister facility of Christenson Village, is to be sold because they cannot meet “rising costs.” This comes after laying off 100 employees in 2014 and offering to rehire them at a lower rate of pay. This is known as “contract flipping,” and has been imposed on numerous occasions since the implementation of private care in B.C., when costs inevitably go up. Results to residents, their families, and their caregivers have been devastating. What will Silverstone choose to do when they experience “rising costs”? 

It is interesting that VCH had no plans to be represented at the Town Hall meeting, arranged by our MLA, on June 29.  Much easier to submit a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, with only half the facts.

Marilynn Green, Gibsons

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