Press Release – October 29/19

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PRESS RELEASE: October 29 2019
Protect Public Health Care – Sunshine Coast responds to Trellis West Sechelt reapplication

Media Contact: Ian McLatchie imclatchie@gmail.com 604-885-9705

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Protect Public Health Care – Sunshine Coast (PPHC) calls on Health Minister Adrian Dix to take immediate action to address the crisis of long-term care on the Sunshine Coast.

The collapse of talks between Trellis and Sechelt Indian Band is only the latest of a series of delays since the June 2016 announcement that Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) planned to close Totem Lodge and Shorncliffe and replace them with a private facility in West Sechelt. Every step of the way, the Ministry of Health and VCH have ignored the wishes of the communi- ty on decisions affecting some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Since forming in September 2016, PPHC has stressed the need for stable, publicly funded and operated long-term care. Numerous studies confirm that in general public ownership provides better care as measured by an variety of outcomes than either for-profit or non-profit private en- tities.

Our coalition has also raised particular concerns about Trellis, a corporation with an opaque fi- nancial structure, an egregious history of contract flipping and citations for serious care infrac- tions.

The deficiencies of for-profit care have recently come to public attention with the news that three Vancouver Island care facilities have been investigated or put under direct management by the Vancouver Island Health Authority following the discovery of shocking violations of care proto- col. All three are owned by Retirement Concepts. When she was President and CEO of Retire- ment Concepts, Trellis President Mary McDougall was singled out in a 2005 Labour Relations Board ruling that the corporation engaged in deceptive practices to circumvent fair collective bargaining at its Nanaimo facility.

The attempt to privatize long-term care in our community has been an abject failure. Regardless of the outcome of Trellis’ reapplication in West Sechelt, the NDP will complete its current term without having created a single long-term care space on the Sunshine Coast. Minister Dix must stop putting profit over care and honour the promises on which his party was elected.