BC Health Coalition

BC Health Coalition

February 21, 2012 18:04 ET

BC Budget 2012 Silent on Seniors' Care

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2012) - The BC Health Coalition has expressed disappointment over 2012 provincial budget's silence on seniors' care. Today's budget comes one week after the release of the Provincial Ombudsperson's report on the state of seniors' care in B.C.

"Nothing in this budget reflects the Health Ministry's seniors' agenda announced last week in response to the Ombudsperson's report," said BC Health Coalition co-chair Alice Edge. "The province has said it intends to act on the report yet there is little evidence in this budget to suggest it intends to take serious action for better seniors' care in the province."

"The Ombudsperson's report clearly reveals that strengthening home and community care services will greatly improve the lives of seniors," said Edge, who noted that the report is the second part of the largest systemic investigation in the Ombudsperson's Office's history and contains 176 recommendations related to addressing systemic challenges that are a barrier to seniors' having full access to residential care, home support, assisted living, and community care.

Speaking to the budget's theme of "fiscal discipline", Edge argued that investment in home and community care services not only improves the quality of care for seniors but also reduces pressure on the more expensive primary and acute care parts of the health care system.

"Home and community care services save money and save lives," said Edge, who noted that the majority of the health care budget is spent on costly acute hospital care - far and away the most expensive part of the system.

"If governments are serious about reducing costs they will invest in home and community care services that help keep people out of expensive hospital beds."

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