Victoria’s Gorge Road Hospital to close

While replacement plans remain vague, HEU workers, residents fight back with calls to keep it public

HEU health workers and residents at Victoria’s Gorge Road Hospital have been in the news again responding to the announcement that the extended care and rehabilitation facility will be closed in two years.

While details are sketchy, HEU Gorge local secretary-treasurer Pierre Levesque says that the news doesn’t surprise the members or the residents who have been fighting the closure for some time.

One resident, outraged by the decision, laid the blame for the closure squarely on Victoria saying he would like to ask Gordon Campbell how he’d like it if he were kicked out of his home.

Media interest following the annoucement prompted a senior GRH staff representative to attempt a gag order on care providers and residents, but people replied that they’d fight for their hospital and home whenever and wherever they could.

“Administrators are happy to talk to reporters if they have something to say,” says Levesque. “We won’t apologize for opposing the closure and fighting to ensure that residents’ and clients’ care and services stay public so that program quality and access remain top priorities, not profits for the private sector.

“As workers, we’re standing with the residents in pushing for the protection of the publicly funded and operated extended care and rehab services provided at the Gorge. And we won’t back down.”

The news came on the heels of the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s February 6 bulletin, Addressing the Rumors, in which the closures of Gorge Road Hospital, the Memorial Pavilion and the Bay Pavilion were cited as examples of the many rumours circulating in the region.

The announcement turned rumour to fact and confirmed the closures of all three sites the next day.