Having heard about Premier Clark’s comments on her campaign stop in the Comox Valley, I was initially heartened to see that she was addressing the need for a residential hospice, a plan that has been in the works for many years, waiting for a commitment of operational funding from the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
Clark, like all of us, is aware of this growing need in the Boomer Capital of Canada, the Comox Valley.
I was more than a little disappointed to hear the premier made what seemed like an empty promise that did not address the real issue. her government’s responsibility to hold all of the health authorities accountable to provide equitable access to end-of-life care for those of us who live outside of Victoria or the Lower Mainland, where $10 million was recently handed out.
Thankfully, we have hospice and hospital staff and volunteers who work so hard in the most difficult of circumstances to create an oasis of care for our friends and loved ones who are dying in this community.
Many are being forced to die at home, cared for by elderly loved ones, because of the lack of hospice beds.
Premier Clark has been quick to point out that her mother died in a hospice. Ironically, she did not choose to personally stay home to care for her 24 hours a day, throughout the full course of her mother’s last days, as her government is expecting the rest of us to do.
Wasn’t she lucky that there was a hospice bed available?
We deserve better and the time for action is now!
Editor’s note: Sue McKeeman is a hospice volunteer.