FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2016
“British Columbia seniors received good news today,” says CEO Daniel Fontaine
Vancouver, BC – B.C. seniors and their family members got some good news today with the release of a bi-partisan committee report that puts seniors as a focus of new health care spending. The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Report on the Budget 2017 Consultations lists priorities for seniors as their first five of 102 recommendations.
The Standing Committee’s report specifically identified the submission by the BC Care Providers Association:
Noting that an aging population necessitates a reorientation of the health care system towards community care where the needs of seniors, the chronically ill, the frail elderly and those with dementia can be more appropriately met, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) called for more investment in community care – a request that was echoed by Save Our Northern Seniors and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The BCCPA requested additional funding for home support, and long-term care and residential care facilities, including funding for direct care hours. The organization also asked for supports to improve quality of life for seniors, both in the community and in residential care. As an added benefit, community care typically has a lower cost, thus improving sustainability of the health care system. (Report on the Budget 2017 Consultations, page 23)
The Committee’s list leads off with those made by BCCPA in its October written submission, recommending the following to the Legislative Assembly:
- Establish a long-term, predictable funding model that includes training and education to improve dementia care, and funding for 3.36 direct care hours per resident as a standard for all facilities.
- Increase supports available to improve quality of life for seniors in long-term care, such as dental care and programs that support mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well- being.
- Expand home care programs and services, such as home visits, meal delivery and community care, to allow seniors to remain in their homes longer.
Additionally, the committee recommends expanding support for a broad range of hospice care, bereavement programs, and as well a dental care plan for low-income seniors.
“As a leading association that represents the continuing care industry in British Columbia, I would like to express our thanks to the Select Standing Committee on behalf of our members,” says BCCPA board chair Karen Baillie. “I think I can speak for many of us who work for B.C. seniors how grateful we are to have their support for initiatives that will make a big difference in the lives of many.”
The Select Standing Committee are responsible for a province-wide consultation conducted in the fall of 2016. It is chaired by BC Liberal MLA Scott Hamilton, and BC NDP MLA Carole James is the committee’s Deputy Chair. The recommendations are agreed upon by all members of the committee, which is made up of both government and opposition MLAs.
“I would like to echo our thanks to the Committee’s members,” adds BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “We are pleased that our recommendations met with their approval. Going forward we will make every effort to work with all members of the Legislature to see that they are accepted in BC Budget 2017.”
For a complete copy of the BCCPA 2017 Budget submission, visit www.bccare.ca.
BCCPA VP, Communications and Stakeholder Relations