LETTER – Where are the promised long-term care beds?

Dear editor,

For many years, the Comox Valley has been in a silent crisis over access to residential care beds for loved ones. I know from my own traumatic experience that when the family caregiver was at breaking point, after receiving all that Home and Community Care could provide, the best our health care system could offer was a minimum six-month wait, or a bed somewhere out of town.

Then, as now, the hospital was filled to over-capacity with people needing a less expensive and more appropriate level of care.

A request for proposals (RFP) for 70 residential care beds was issued in September 2016 and then cancelled with no explanation ever offered to the public.

A revised RFP for 120 new beds and 31 replacement beds was issued in March 2018 with bids closing on May 11, 2018.

The results were to be announced by the end of August 2018.

It is now 2019. The money wasted on using hospital beds instead of residential care has increased to the tens of millions of dollars. Worse, the suffering (agony would not be too strong a word) of Comox Valley elders and their caregivers, with inadequate home care and needing residential care, has deepened, since the Valley probably needs at least 225 beds and more, with an ever-aging population.

Where are the beds? Ask your government and your MLA.

We deserve better.

Delores Broten,

Comox

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