Friday, April 5, 2013



Seniors' Scene

Budget Shortfalls

Some useful advice for Fraser Health

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chwk


am one who is dismayed at Fraser Health forcing chlorination on Chilliwack, not because chorine is harmful, but because the expense is unnecessary. I don't know whether the positive test for e-coli was on our water supply or on surface water nearby.

In 1983 I nearly died from an e-coli infection when I was on holiday in India. It was a Canadian Pentecostal Hospital in Calcutta where I was treated and brought back to health. The Medical Director was from a Canadian Baptist hospital in Andhra, where I had taught nursing and managed general stores for two years in the 1950s, and often visited in subsequent years.

The 4 school of nursing Instructors in Calcutta had taken there basic nursing in the hospital where I had taught earlier. They were wonderful to me. While recovering, I heard the voices of thousands children and adults, but could not see them from my window, so I asked. I was told that they were poor people getting a nutritious meal daily, 5000 a day If I remember correctly. Maybe 3000, also amazing.

I am very unhappy with the budgeting of Fraser Health. Their priorities are very unwise. Here is a list of where I feel strongly they are wrong:

High salaries for administrators, high pensions and benefits for them. Even bonuses are given to the CEO (and others?) in December. That should go to help the poor pay for a decent apartment, but it is a different ministry that provides only $375 per month for mental health disabled people. The money used for bonuses could hire another direct care staff.

Not enough people hired to give direct care in Home Health Care. One hour a week is not enough, and few get more.

Fraser Health offices are in Langley, so much time is spent in travel by directors and members of committees. A one hour meeting wastes most of a day.

There is not enough representation from Fraser East because representatives cannot find car pooling transportation to get to important meetings.

The 21 Health Regions were amalgamated into five for the province of BC, by the Liberals. Four in Fraser valley became one. The reasons given was efficiency and funding. The results have been the opposite. Expensive vice-presidents were added. The local Directors in four Fraser Valley regions lost their authority and effectiveness.

Not enough vocational training and ongoing support for people with schizophrenia. There is no vocational training in Fraser East. Remember 1:100 people have schizophrenia, which means 700 in Chilliwack, not being helped to find and keep a job. Many can only work part time, so need job sharing and someone to take over when coping gets hard. That means cell phones for the director(s) and members. Some people with schizophrenia can become strong and experienced enough to assist with leadership, if well supported.

I have lived close to all this since 1989.


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