Health workers say keep Cascade Residence open

News release

Replacement plans would see 100 beds lost in region where more spaces are urgently needed

Members of the Hospital Employees’ Union who work at Burnaby Hospital’s Cascade Residence will be making a scheduled presentation to the Simon Fraser Health Board tonight to urge the directors to keep the 205-bed extended care complex open.

7:00 p.m. tonight Sherbrooke Lounge 260 Sherbrooke Street New Westminster

The health region could finalize a decision before the end of the year to shut down Cascade and replace it with a new facility with approximately 150 beds (50 to be assisted living units). The health region could spend upwards of $18 million in order to provide 100 fewer extended care beds. The region’s currently short 700 beds; the plan would increase that to 800.

The publicly-operated Cascade Residence could be replaced by a private, for-profit facility owned by a huge corporation through a public/private partnership. Three bidders have made the short-list: two Canadian private, for-profit giants in seniors’ care and housing, CPAC (Care) Holdings Ltd. and Central Park Lodges, and one not-for-profit organization, the 56-year old New Vista Society which provides housing, community and care services to Burnaby seniors.

HEU opposes public/private partnerships and other privatization schemes in health care.

“Replacing a functional, public facility such as the Cascade Residence, with a public/private partnership is completely unacceptable,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “The region’s priority should be more beds, not less.”