VANCOUVER, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - B.C. Budget 2012: Silence on seniors'
care, higher MSP premiums for families, and B.C. slides to ninth place
in investment in its citizens' health care
B.C.'s largest health care union says today's provincial budget
represents a lost opportunity to make strategic investments in seniors'
care and in the health of its citizens.
The 43,000-member Hospital Employees' Union says the budget confirms
that the Clark government won't implement any of the substantial
recommendations made by the provincial ombudsperson Kim Carter last
week to improve seniors' care in B.C.
HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says that it is
disappointing that the province did not take up the ombudsperson's
challenge to establish regulatory standards on basic care issues like
bathing frequency - or to implement minimum staffing levels in the
"Seniors deserve better treatment than they are getting from this
government," says Pearson. "It may serve their own political objectives
to put off investments to improve care standards, but that is not a
luxury that many of our frail seniors have."
Pearson notes that nearly every health authority has failed to meet the
recommended staffing guidelines for residential care facilities, and
that they will continue miss the mark without additional investments in
Today's budget also confirms that B.C. families will see another four
per cent hike in MSP premiums next year and that for the first time,
the government will collect more than $2 billion through this
regressive health care tax.
"Working families and the frail elderly definitely take a back seat to
luxury condo buyers and real estate developers in this budget," says
The budget documents releases today also confirm that B.C. has now
slipped from second to ninth place in terms of its investment in the
health care of British Columbians.
"The finance minister wears our relatively low level of health spending
as a badge of honour," says Pearson. "But the fact of the matter is
that the positive health outcomes that we enjoy today are the results
of the strategic investments we made in the past."
SOURCE Hospital Employees' Union
For further information:
Mike Old, communications director, 604.828.6771 (cell)