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Nurses condemn wheelchair fees
June 7, 2013Charging nursing home residents for every time they go to the toilet might be next, according to plans concocted by health authorities
Nurses are condemning plans by the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health authorities to charge their nursing home residents $25 a month to use a wheelchair.
This is a callous, uncaring move by health authorities that are increasingly forgetting their mandate to provide quality care and are instead obsessing continuously about cutting budgets, says BC Nurses Union President Debra McPherson. Seniors in long term care do best when they can get out of their rooms and socialize with other residents to keep their minds active and maximize their quality of life. Forcing them to pay extra fees for what is an essential service is just unacceptable.
McPherson questioned assurances by Fraser Health that nobody will be forced to pay in case of financial hardship. How disgraceful for health authorities to force seniors to beg for charity so they can use a wheelchair.
And how ridiculous for the health authority to say that people with disabilities will be exempt. How out of touch can they be? Dont they realize that anyone who needs to use a wheelchair, by definition, has a disability in that their mobility is compromised? McPherson asks.
She challenged the CEOs of the two health authorities, who between them pull in almost $1 million in annual salaries to spend time with seniors in long term care.
Whats next? Charging seniors a fee every time they need a staff member to help them get to the toilet, with or without a wheelchair? Or putting in extra fees if they need help with their meals? This policy should be withdrawn immediately.
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BC Nurses' Union
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BC Nurses' Union