Cuts to seniors’ programs shortsighted solution says BC Health Coalition

News release

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The BC Health Coalition is deeply concerned that cuts by the Fraser Health Authority to seniors’ programs, such as the Langley Seniors Resource Centre’s outreach program, will create more financial pressures, not less, in the long run.

The recent cancellation of the Langley seniors’ program, which costs the province $86,000 annually, comes on the heels of the Health Minister’s announcement that health authorities must find ways to make up for a $360 million budget shortfall in the Ministry.

“Cutting services to seniors will do nothing to solve the financial challenges faced by Health Authorities across the province. Programs such as those served through the Langley Seniors Resource Centre are essential to maintaining the health and wellness of seniors, keeping them out of acute care, and therefore costing the system less,” said Rachel Tutte, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition.

The Langley seniors’ program serves 650 seniors, many of whom do not have families nearby.

“The BC Health Coalition has been calling on this government to recognize that providing programs to seniors and people with disabilities that enable them to be healthy by being active and part of a community is an essential part of our public health care system. Cuts to these programs often lead to more rapid deterioration of the health of seniors and in an increase in the need for more health services, increasing financial pressure on the health care system,” said Tutte.

“It is our hope that the findings of this report will impel policy makers to action, to build capacity in the public non-profit system and protect the great gains in equality, access, fairness and efficiency that are the legacy of our public health system,” added Tutte.