LETTER – Privately-owned care facilities an example of the erosion of our healthcare system

Dear editor,

Barb Biley raises several good points in her Dec. 19 letter (Profit is the number-one priority for privately-owned long-term care facilities).

After understaffing and several outbreaks of the Norwalk virus at the CV Seniors’ Village, it clearly is an example of profits before people. The Canadian federal government should never have approved the incursion by the Chinese government, which owns Anbang, into our long-term care facilities. As well, the Courtenay councillors should not be approving developers building private seniors’ care homes, like the one on Braidwood. The proposed fees of $3,200-$6,000/month that will fund an anticipated return to investors of 26 per cent, is money that should be reinvested into the local public system. These are only two examples of how our universal health system is being eroded.

The highest rising expense in medicine is the cost of pharmaceuticals, yet the federal Liberals are waffling in establishing a national drug strategy, perhaps because large manufacturers are based in Montreal.

We can all assist to preserve our public system by having our laboratory tests performed at our new hospital, rather than at private-for-profit establishments. Hospital management and VIHA should actively promote their labs and increase accessibility, so that these significant costs are used to support Medicare.

We can all be part of the solution by our personal choices and by holding our elected officials accountable.

Fred Muzin,

Courtenay

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