KAMSACK, SK – CUPE 4980 is calling on Sunrise Health Region to reverse its decision to close the ten long term care beds at the Kamsack Hospital. Sunrise announced on Friday that they are closing these beds, citing declining numbers of seniors aged 75 and over.
“While the number of elderly seniors may be declining in Kamsack and many of the surrounding areas, it is not appropriate to close long term care beds,” says Pearl Blommaert, president of CUPE 4980.
“What about the growing number of elderly baby boomers? According to Stats Canada, within ten years, the number of those aged 75 and over in Kamsack alone will go from 80 to 120. That’s a 50 per cent increase!” adds Blommaert.
Cindy McGregor, Local 4980 Area vice-president, who works as a Continuing Care Assistant at Kamsack Nursing Home, says that some residents had been moved into the hospital facility because the flooring was being replaced. But despite them being able to move back into their own rooms by June, there is still a waitlist of more than ten people requiring long term care beds.
“This isn’t about our jobs,” says McGregor. “It’s about a fundamental disrespect for the people who have worked hard all their lives in our community and surrounding area. Why are services to them being cut? Shouldn’t they be able to live close to their families?”
The local is planning to fight the bed closures and is starting a petition. They will approach the mayor to try to gain support for seniors from the Town Council as well.
“It’s not only the elderly who need long term care,” says CUPE 4980 President Pearl Blommaert. “Why is Sunrise Health Region balancing their budget on the backs of some of our most vulnerable citizens?”
For more information contact:
CUPE National Representative