This week, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC CEO, Terry Lake appeared on major provincial and national media platforms to comment on Health Standards Organization’s (HSO) new voluntary national standards for long-term care.
Lake applauded these new standards, speaking to the need to prevent against tragedies, such as those which occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he also noted that the standards can only be successful if they are supported with federal and provincial funding, and investments in infrastructure.
“Unless significant investing – whether federal or provincial – we won’t see these standards upheld,” Lake explains in his interview on CBC Victoria’s All Points West with Jason D’Souza.
“Most long-term care is supported by taxpayers through provincial and territorial funding and so without increased investment on part of government, it would be impossible for many homes to meet these standards,” says Lake in CBC Canada’s The Current with Matt Galloway.
Lake also emphasized that to ensure the best quality of care for seniors across Canada there must be more investments in training and in wages for healthcare workers, applauding the B.C. government’s recent investments in health human resources, especially in the Health Career Access Program (HCAP), wage levelling, and the more efficient assessment pathway for internationally educated nurses (IENs).
He noted, however, that investment in new infrastructure has not kept pace and demand for long-term care far exceeds supply putting pressure on the acute care system.
“I’m optimistic that we’ve recognized the things we need to do and the plans to move forward but we simply don’t have the money in new construction to meet the needs of this growing and aging population,” says Lake in his CBC Early Edition interview with Stephen Quinn.
While 400 new beds are underway in the Interior, there has been no new beds announced for the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island in the last couple of years.
“These are going to take years to build and land acquisition is going to be expensive. So, unless we get started now, we’re not going to have these spots ready for when they are needed,” says Lake on Global News.
With the upcoming budget, there is hope that with these new standards, seniors care will be on the priority list for more investment.
“If we don’t fix long-term care, we don’t fix the healthcare system at large. Unless we fix long-term care, other parts of the system will be under stress.”
Read BCCPA’s announcement of the standards here and listen to the interviews by clicking the links below:
CBC Canada: The Current with Matt Galloway
CBC Early Edition with Stephen Quinn
CBC Kamloops Radio West with Sarah Penton
CHNL Kamloops (Radio NL)
CHNL Kamloops article
CBC Victoria All Points West with Jason D’Souza
CFJC TV Kamloops
Global BC News
CFAX Mornings with Al Ferraby
CKNW Mike Smyth Show
CKNW Weekend Mornings with Stirling Faux