Unplug hospital pay-TV grab at Children’s, HEU urges Hansen

News release

Move as mean-spirited as separating seniors

The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) has written to health services minister Colin Hansen today urging him to immediately reverse the outrageous pay-TV initiative just introduced at Children’s Hospital.

“Charging for television access at Children’s Hospital is deplorable,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic. “It’s as mean-spirited as the government’s long-term care policy that forces the separation of seniors from their spouses.” “We are urging Minister Hansen to step in and reverse this misguided pay-TV move immediately.”

Last night, Global TV reported that the families of sick kids will now be charged eight dollars a day for television privileges that up until now have been free. It’s a revenue-generating move that the hospital has implemented to cope with the Campbell government’s health care budget cuts.

Most of the television sets and video equipment the children play with have been donated by the families and friends of young patients, some as memorial gifts and all in appreciation.

Bosancic says that children benefit greatly by having television available while in hospital for treatment.

“Children in hospital, especially for extended stays, need activities that are enjoyable and familiar as they recover from or await treatment for serious illness or injury,” says Bosancic. “Their favourite t.v. shows and video games have an important therapeutic value.

“The Minister must exercise the compassion that is clearly lacking in decision-makers at Children’s Hospital and announce the reversal of the pay-TV plan.”

-30- Contact: Margi Blamey, communications officer, 604-456-7094 (direct)