A tale of two hospices

Comox Valley gets $250,000 and four new end-of-life beds, while Campbell River awaits a response to promise

In the Comox Valley the province happily hands over $250,000 for four new end-of-life beds at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Meanwhile, in Campbell River, the local hospice society awaits a reply from the premier to follow-up on a promise made last year.

“Comox Valley Hospice gets their beds, there’s talk of beds for Parksville and Campbell River seems to get ignored by Victoria,” said Valery Puetz, chair of the Campbell River Hospice Society.

On May 22, the society sent a letter to Premier Christy Clark enquiring about a proposal that would include three new end-of-life beds for Campbell River.

Last November, Island Health announced it would issue a request for proposals in early 2014, seeking an owner-operator to provide 40 care beds in the city. The home was supposed to include 31-33 beds for residents who require complex care, 4-6 long-stay rehab beds and the three end-of-life beds.

On May 5, Island Health issued the request for a new 40-bed care home to be built by 2017, but there’s no mention of three end-of-life (EOL)  beds, noted Puetz, just 20 complex care beds and another 20 for people with dementia.

“What is of concern…is the apparent lost of the three EOL beds which were promised and which are much needed,” wrote Puetz. “Our society would also like to know where the 4-6 long-stay rehabilitation beds are?”

Ideally, local hospice directors would rather have their own home to care for dying patients, but Puetz said Island Health wants end-of-life beds in facilities under contract by the provincial board.

Hospice directors were told the three end-of-life beds would first go into Yucalta Lodge and then moved to a new facility before 2017.

Evergreen Seniors Home is currently expanding and Puetz said the owners are interested in including hospice palliative suites.

However, the request for proposals doesn’t include the end-of-life beds, therefore no pubic funding.

If privately-run care homes, under contract to Island Health, do want to include palliative suites, the cost is picked up by the dying and their families, and Puetz said that isn’t fair.

“This creates a system in which those who can afford the cost of a private EOL bed will have access to it, whereas those who are unable to do so will be denied access,” she wrote on behalf the society.

The letter asks the premier to respond by June 18, and so far there has not been a reply.

On May 30, Comox Valley and Liberal MLA Don McRae, joined with that community’s hospice volunteers to announce the $250,000 provincial grant for four end-of-life beds at St. Joesph’s Hospital in Comox. McRae said the province wants to double the number of these beds throughout B.C. by 2020.

“There’s just so many individuals that came together with Island Health as well to make sure that we become the beneficiaries of these four hospice beds,” McRae said at the funding announcement.

– with files from the Comox Valley Record

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: North Island Green Party nomination still to be determined

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

Single-lane alternating traffic in place along Hwy. 19A project

Traffic changes in effect until end of the year: City

Woman injured during rollover on Hwy. 28

Incident took place Saturday evening near Strathcona Lodge

Demonstrators voice displeasure over mask-use in Campbell River

Sunday afternoon event has held by Hugs Over Masks Nation

Tidemark Theatre and Chamber of Commerce join forces to launch two new TV shows

Show will explore the arts, community, culture and local industry through conversation

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Most Read