Friday November 12, 2010
Putting The Hurt On Patients
Sterk says $29/day is too much for patients to bear
Submitted by Rebecca Helps, GP
hanges are needed but not at this cost. "On Nov. 7, 2010, The Victoria Times Colonist published an editorial on the fact that hospitals have recently begun charging patients who have completed required hospital treatment $29 a day if they stay in hospital because they need additional time to recover," said Jane Sterk leader of the Green Party of BC.
"This is yet another BC Liberal policy that harms people who need support and for whom the additional costs will put a strain on their resources. The people most affected by this perverse decision are frail seniors and others who don't have adequate supports to recover at home.
"This BC Liberal practice is part of their relentless desire to control costs and to transition to user fees. While the Green Party of BC agrees that we need to reform our health care system, attacking the poor and the frail does not take us in the right direction.
"Stress and worry impact health. Charging per diems runs the risk of lengthening recovery or having patients leave hospital to recover on their own without adequate assistance.
"It has been evident for at least 20 years that BC needs to invest in home care and home support services; and in auxiliary care to manage the range of levels of service that are needed to move people out of acute care hospitals as soon it is appropriate. BC Liberal policies have made the situation worse.
"We can make our hospitals cost effective without hurting patients and their families. Changes are needed within our healthcare system and we need to work at finding ways to sustain it. That means investing in prevention, building facilities to offer a range of after hospital care and putting money into home support and home care services.
"Instead, we see a continuation of BC Liberal policies that hurt the most vulnerable and risk taking us toward an American style system that charges patients for every service they use.
"Changing our public healthcare system one policy at a time will not accomplish the systemic reforms that are needed. It is the wrong way to go," concluded Sterk.
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