Election budget 2009 leaves health authorities hanging until 2011

Todays 2009/2010 provincial budget announcements failed to provide any new money for health care in British Columbia until 2011.  In addition, the budget included no movement towards the creation of previously promised not-for-profit residential beds or any new funding for seniors care.

-In times of economic crisis, providing the ability for health authorities to invest in home and community care today would be a productive form of economic stimulus that would benefit communities across the province, said Leslie Dickout, Medicare Campaigner, BC Health Coalition.

-This government is simply not fulfilling its role to ensure our health care system has the capacity to meet the needs of the population.-

The BC Health Coalition recently launched a comprehensive seniors care campaign which calls for the creation of 5,000 not-for-profit residential care beds, as well as the establishment of an independent seniors advocate and the expansion of home support services as recommended by the 2006 Premiers Council on Aging and Seniors Issues.

-In Budget 2009 we were looking for this government to take leadership and make critical investments in public solutions to address not only the crisis in seniors care in British Columbia, but also the overcrowding in our emergency rooms, growing surgical wait lists and the proliferation of for-profit clinics.  We have seen none of this today," said Dickout.

Budget 2009 comes just three months away from the next provincial election, set for May 12, 2009.