Province falls short on promise of 5,000 long-term care beds, seniors' access to home and residential care drops: Study

    VANCOUVER, April 15 /CNW/ - A major study released today finds that BC's
home and community health care system is in serious decline - the result of
reduced access to services and poorly planned restructuring.
    An Uncertain Future for Seniors: BC's Restructuring of Home and Community
Health Care 2001-2008 provides detailed evidence related to concerns raised
recently by the BC Auditor General, the BC Medical Association and the BC Care
Providers Association about the deteriorating state of seniors' care in BC.

    Key findings include:

    - The provincial government fell short of its 2001 promise to build 5,000
    new residential care beds for seniors. Since 2001, 3,589 net new beds
    have been built - a shortfall of 1,411 beds. The study also provides bed
    numbers by health authority and municipality.

    - All new beds are assisted living units, which provide lower levels of
    service than residential care and are not an adequate substitute. (There
    were 804 fewer residential beds in 2008 than in 2001, but 4,393 new
    assisted living units were added, for a net new bed total of 3,589.)

    - Bed numbers reported by the Ministry of Health Services did not match
    those obtained from the health authorities by Freedom of Information
    request. The 1,753-bed discrepancy resulted from over-counting and
    inaccurate reporting by the Ministry. The Ministry included ineligible
    beds in its totals, such as supportive housing units, short-term
    convalescent care, group homes, independent living units and mental
    health facilities.


For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview: Terra Poirier, (604)
801-5121 x229

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (BC)

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