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Approximately 300 members of the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) will receive displacement notices before the end of the month, as the Vancouver Island Health Authority proceeds with its plan to shut down Gorge Road Hospital in Victoria.

“The closure of this unique facility is an enormous loss for Victoria and Vancouver Island,” says HEU Secretary Business-Manager Chris Allnutt. “The elimination of 287 extended care beds at Gorge Road will not only uproot these residents, but will cause huge wait lists for others needing long term care.”

Although 74 patients will eventually be transferred to new beds at Mount St. Mary in Victoria, Allnutt says, “In its scramble to locate care for the remaining residents, many will be placed inappropriately and the system simply won’t be able to meet emerging needs.”

He also criticized St. Mary’s refusal to take on any of the trusted, experienced staff who currently provide care and support to Gorge Road patients.

“The loss of familiar and committed caregivers means the loss of continuity and friendship for these residents and their families,” he says.

Studies show that forced relocation - recognized in the United States as a bona fide diagnosis known as Relocation Stress Syndrome - increases mortality risk and trauma to the frail elderly.

“Eliminating these beds is totally irresponsible,” said Allnutt. “Campbell’s Liberals and the health authority continue to show a callous disregard for the health and well-being of Vancouver Island seniors and their families.”


For more information contact:
Bob Wilson, HEU Servicing Representative at (250) 920-9091

Patty Gibson, HEU Communications Officer at (604) 456-7007