The Good Samaritan Society

The Good Samaritan Society

April 02, 2014 12:13 ET

The Good Samaritan Society: "Lack of Funding Costs 100 Staff Their Jobs"

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 2, 2014) - The Residential Care program at Good Samaritan Wexford Creek in Nanaimo, has been forced to make difficult decisions that will have a large and lasting impact on our staff, residents and their families due to the funding practices of Island Health Authority.

The funding model used by Island Health Authority is not aligned with the market demands for bedside health care workers and is forcing (non HEABC) operators into a cycle of either: terminating all site employees, and offering future employment opportunities at significantly reduced compensation packages; or contracting out the care and services currently provided by the trained employees who are familiar with the care needs of the residents.

Since opening in 2008, Good Samaritan Canada combined resident and Island Health Authority funding has increased a total of 8.1%. According to the funding advisories issued by Island Health Authority, their funding has increased an average of 0.3% per year or only 1.9% over our 6 year operating history, with the lion's share of the increase in funding coming from resident fees. The 8.1% increase in funding does not come close to funding the 19% increase in labour costs that we have experienced since commencing operations in Nanaimo to remain competitive with staff salaries on Vancouver Island.

In the six years we have been in operation and contracting with Island Health Authority for Residential Care services, we have lost more than $3Million. We cannot sustain the continued losses and have been unable to secure the additional funding needed from Island Health Authority to continue operating as is. Despite repeated attempts to resolve the chronic funding shortfall, Island Health Authority has not responded to our request for operational funding increases, and has responded to our requests by asking us to contract out our core business of caring for the elderly and disadvantaged, which The Good Samaritan Society has done for over 65 years.

Of the 32 facilities we operate in BC and Alberta, Wexford Creek is the only facility where we are forced to take these extreme measures because of historic chronic underfunding. In many cases, our dedicated employees are compensated below provincial facility Collective Agreement rates.

To respond, we have focused on finding internal efficiencies such as reducing administration costs, and have continued to provide quality care and accommodations to our residents but the losses are now too much to bear for any business.

As a result, on April 01, 2014 we have terminated over 100 care and support staff at our Nanaimo facility effective 0700 September 25, 2014. We will now provide staff information on future employment opportunities shortly so interested persons can apply but employment opportunities will be on significantly reduced terms and conditions of employment.

The Good Samaritan Society is strongly opposed to this treatment of employees. Island Health Authority is on notice that this is our only alternative to contracting out care at Wexford Creek to unknown providers with less experience and do not provide the faith based services the Good Samaritan Canada provides to our residents.

We are further advising our employees, residents and their families that based on the insufficient funding provided by Island Health, it is our intention to consider all alternatives for the use of our facility including the termination of our Agreement with Island Health to provide Residential Care Services.

It is unfortunate that the residents of British Columbia that call our facility home and the staff that care for them are the ones that are affected most by this situation.

The Good Samaritan Society, a not-for-profit faith based charitable organization, operating 32 care facilities in Alberta and British Columbia, and is considered a leader in providing quality residential care. Good Samaritan Wexford Creek has been in operation in Nanaimo since 2008.

Contact Information

  • The Good Samaritan Society
    Shawn Terlson
    President & CEO