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Campbell Liberals break “new era” commitment to build 5,000 long-term care beds

The Campbell government made it clear at today’s open cabinet meeting that it has no intention of fulfilling its election commitment to build 5,000 intermediate and long-term care beds, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

Instead, the province will set up a new program to manage 3,500 supportive housing and assisted living arrangements for seniors. Only 1,500 residential care beds will be provided.

“Assisted living and supportive housing have a place in the continuum of care - but not as a substitute for thousands of badly needed long-term and intermediate care beds,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“Frankly, this government’s plans for seniors’ care are more about cost cutting that improving care.”

After health authorities announce program cuts on Tuesday, Allnutt expects that there will be a net loss of thousands of long-term, intermediate and extended care beds in British Columbia.

And Allnutt says claims made by the Campbell cabinet today that no long-term care facilities will be closed without full and detailed consultation will ring hollow when communities around the province learn about bed and facility closures tomorrow.

“It’s pretty clear that this government views its election as the only consultation it requires to implement its extreme agenda,” says Allnutt. “The Campbell Liberals won’t even let their own election commitments stand in the way of their damaging plans.”

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Contact:Mike Old, communications officer,
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604-828-6771 (cell)