The Hospital Employees Union (HEU) set up outside of the University Hospital today. Their campaign, called “Care Can’t Wait”, is aimed at increasing the level of care seniors receive in the province.
“The government has said that the level of care should be 3.36 hours of care per day, per resident,” says Shelley Bridge, the HEU Regional Vice President for the Interior. “At 9 out of 10 of our long-term care facilities in BC, they do not meet those requirements.”
Bridge says the Jubilee Lodge is operating at 2.91 hours of care, and the Gateway Residential Care Facility is operating at 2.9.
“We are here today to get stories from our members to take back to the government and say ‘you know what? We need to get more money in funding into the level of care so that we can actually get the seniors the level of care that they deserve.’ With that, the care aides are the highest injury rate; above firefighters and police officers. So that also needs to be recognized. With the level of care being increased that means we will get more members on the floor to help the care staff, and hopefully lower our injury rate.”
Now that the writ has dropped, the Ministry of Health is unable to comment. However, the government of the day did announce a $500 million investment over the next four years into senior care last month.
So far, the “Care Can’t Wait” campaign has traveled through the Kootenays and the Okanogan. HEU will be in Prince George until Friday, before heading to Vanderhoof.