There has been a lot of discussion about the shortage of (long-term) care facility beds on the Sunshine Coast and the trickle-down effect on acute care beds. For some people, the only answer is to build a private, for-profit facility funded by the Ministry of Health – in other words, by taxpayers. This despite the fact that for-profit facilities do not match publicly owned and operated ones in terms of measurable health outcomes or adherence to guidelines and regulations.
Do we need more acute care beds? Of course, we do. But the acute care crisis cannot be tackled by jeopardizing the health and well-being of long-term care residents. Ten thousand people signed our petition opposing the previous Liberal government’s decision to replace Shorncliffe and Totem Lodge with a for-profit facility owned by Trellis Seniors Services. The NDP came to power promising to defend public care. Instead, it has pursued a course of privatization fundamentally no different from its predecessor.
I urge all those who feel as I do to write to Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and Sechelt’s mayor and council, to let them know that our seniors are not for sale. Our community deserves nothing less than stable, well-funded, publicly owned and operated long-term care.