New funding welcome measure to address patient backlog, says union

News release

But new initiatives required to construct long-term care facilities within public/non-profit sector, says HEU

B.C.'s largest health care union says today's announcement by Health Minister Penny Priddy of new funding to reduce patient backlogs is welcome news for a system under strain.

“Victoria's infusion of $10 million into our health care system is an important short-term measure which will help regional health boards reduce patient backlog in our acute care hospitals,” says Hospital Employees' Union secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “By providing additional long-term care beds and improving home care services, seniors and others can be cared for in the most appropriate and cost effective manner.”

Allnutt says front-line caregivers are committed to working with the provincial government to develop longer term strategies that reduce pressures on the health care system. This includes policy changes that encourage increased construction of multi-level continuing care facilities in the public and non-profit sector.

“It's critical that government's strategy to provide more long-term care beds includes a more flexible capital construction plan — one that maintains the characteristically public/non-profit nature of continuing care,” says Allnutt.

“Regional health boards must be given the tools they need to co-ordinate the continuing care needs of seniors and others within our public medicare system,” he said.