Respectful treatment of seniors must be a priority

One of the biggest issues that has faced British Columbians since the BC Liberals came to power has been the treatment of seniors

One of the biggest issues that has faced British Columbians since the BC Liberals came to power in 2001 has been the treatment of seniors, particularly those who require either in-home or residential care. It is an issue that has been brought to my office countless times, and it is an issue that has caused many people throughout the area to become active politically as they fight for what they believe is right.

I have said many times, and I will say again, that the way we treat our children and the elderly is a true measure of our society. And I believe that far too many seniors and children have been failed by this BC Liberal government.

Over the last weeks, I have met with a number of family members who have loved ones in residential care facilities who are desperately concerned about the level of care they are receiving. British Columbia, while increasing annual spending on health care has yet to increase that funding to a level that actually matches the increases in fixed costs, which essentially results in cuts to services to our most vulnerable.

Ensuring that our seniors can live their lives with dignity and in comfort must be our priority. I know it is for people in this area. This is why we need to identify shortcomings when we find them. Loved ones need to feel that they can speak up on behalf of residents, to ensure they are getting the care they deserve.

Our office is here to help or direct you to where you can access help. You can reach us at 1-866-870-4188 or at norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.

You can also contact Interior Health’s Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) at 1-877-442-2001. The PCQO is tasked to provide a clear, consistent, timely and transparent process for patients to register complaints about the care they or their loved ones receive.  If your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you can take your issue to the Patient Care Quality Review Board for an independent assessment.

I will continue to fight for better care for our seniors, and I will continue to make sure that the government is held accountable for its treatment of seniors in this area. Ultimately, underfunding seniors’ care is a BC Liberal decision, a choice that has been consistently opposed by people in this area.

Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke. He can be reached by phone at 1-866-870-4188 and by email at norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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