BC Health Coalition plans 2009 seniors' health care campaign

Today the BC Health Coalition announced the upcoming January 2009 launch of their Seniors Health Care campaign, Broken Promises. The campaign will be focused on the growing crisis in seniors health around BC.

The BC Health Coalition is calling on all British Columbians to stand up for seniors and people with disabilities by sending 5,000 letters to Premier Campbell demanding that the provincial government act now to provide quality, accessible health care and improve necessary services such as home support and long-term residential care>.

-Despite dozens of reports, studies and recommendations, the provincial government is not moving quickly enough to address the ongoing crisis in seniors health care," said Joyce Jones, Community Co-Chair of the BC Health Coalition.

The BC Health Coalition, a province-wide network of organizations and individuals which in total represents over 600,000 British Columbians, will be calling on the provincial government to immediately implement the following policy recommendations:

• Establish an independent seniors advocate.

• Create 5,000 new not-for-profit residential care beds.

• Assess population needs and meet national average of beds per 1,000 people aged 65 years and older; and adjust for people with disabilities; ensure that these are exclusive of assisted living beds.

• Meet recommendations of the 2006 Premiers Council on Aging by allocating $125 million now to expand publicly delivered, not-for-profit home support services with 24-hour access. Increase direct nursing care hours in residential care to 3.5 hours per day.

-We spent the year meeting with seniors and seniors advocates from around the province to discuss the crisis in seniors health care and it is clear, now is the time for action," said Jones.