Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Don't Grow Old while the BC Liberals are In Power

The Destruction of the BC Health Care System

The BC Liberals have the audacity to say in their “Dialogue on
Health and Aging in British Columbia”(Ministry of Health, 2004)
that their service re-design is on the right track. Hmm, I wonder
if you asked the people WHO BUILT THIS PROVINCE if theywould
agree? People like my Grandpa, who lived and died through their
“system re-design.” He spent the last year of his life in BC being
shuttled around the Liberal health care system, being sent home
with a broken hip, sitting in emergency rooms drugged for so long
he didn’t know where he was. Or, being shuttled from one hospital
to the next, with no relatives being informed of his move and a
mind clouded with pain and drugs. Waking up to strange surroundings
and strangers' faces until family was able to catch up with him. Being
sent home again and again, with cuts to home health care workers.
And finally being settled in a nice, expensive residence, it was
privatized. The people he had come to rely on, most of them women
of colour, were axed, or took pay cuts to keep their jobs and feed
their families.

I don’t see the Liberal health care system working my
for my 94 year old Auntie either. She has slowly been losing
her mind to Alzeimer’s. However in the New Era Liberal
health care system, although she has hallucinations, hoards
and is now barricading herself, she isn’t quite “sick enough”
to get a bed. And she will certainly not spend her twilight
years in a subsidized home. Oh no, she was only born here
and paid an entire lifetime into provincial and federal coffers.
What have either of my loved ones done to deserve high quality
health and emotional care, dignity and respect? Clearly the
BC Liberals don't see that our Elders deserve a high-level
and continuum of care around the Province.

And how about my step-dad, he broke his wrist. His local
hospital doesn’t provide that level of care anymore, so he
had to go elsewhere. Although he was in great pain, there
were no beds in the hospitals, so he suffered at home for
3 days until he got the surgery he needed to repair his
wrist!!! I’m only one person, so many of us must have
stories of the failure of the BC Liberal health care system
to our Elders and loved ones.

The TV commercials being done by the HEU really
hammer home the effects of the Liberals cuts, closures
and mismanagement of the province's health care system.

This sums it up for me: “The campaign is driven by the
fact that the present government of BC has broken the
longstanding social contract between the province and
seniors. COSCO has tried and tried again to the get the
provincial government to change damaging policies
towards seniors without any success. For this reason,
COSCO and its affiliates have decided that the only
way it can re-establish the right of seniors to retire
with the knowledge that their retirement social contract
will be respected is to see change in the government in
our province. Seniors, regardless of their usual political
preferences, are united in this endeavor.”

The Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations of B.C.
COSCO Election Campaign.

B.C. Government Retired Employees Association,(October 26, 2004).
BCGREA files lawsuit against Province of B.C.

CBC News, (Mar 21 2005). Woman taken to morgue by mistake.

CBC News, (Feb 9 2005). Liberals fall short of promise to seniors.

CBC News, (Apr 4 2005). Report paints bleak picture for seniors.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, (April 4, 2005).
Long-term care and home health services in BC on
steady decline: Province-wide audit provides clear picture
of cuts since 2001, documents lost beds.

Marcy Cohen, Janice Murphy, Kelsey Nutland & Aleck Ostry,
(April 4, 2005). Continuing Care Renewal or Retreat?
BC Residential and Home Health Restructuring 2001-2004.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Sylvia Fuller, (April 1, 2003). Fair Pharmacare?
A Backgrounder on the Government's Changes to BC's
Pharmacare Program. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Sylvia Fuller, (March 1, 2002). Leaked health ministry
document shows cost transfer to sick, elderly.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Ministry of Health, (2004, October 28& 29). Dialogue on Health
and Aging in British Columbia. Morris J.Wosk Centre for Dialogue,

Pikett, Bill, (April 06 2005). A New Twist to the Meaning of the
Words "Liberal Democracy." Have You Had Enough Yet.

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