BC Rural Health Network – September Newsletter

A selection of what you can find In this issue:
– Letter of the President
– Member of the Month: Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society
– Message from the Canadian Doctors for Medicare
– Feature article Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and The Future of Long-Term Care
– New petitions on the BCRHN website and much more….

Click on the Download button, or scroll through the screenshots.

An Investigation of Rural Citizen-Patient Priorities for Health Planning: Survey

The Rural Evidence Review project in collaboration with the BC Rural Health Network has launched a provincial survey to understand rural and remote community experiences and responses to COVID-19.

We are interested in engaging and learning from rural and remote citizens and communities across British Columbia about their communities’ experiences of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Participation is open to all residents of rural and remote BC communities. The survey is available on an ongoing basis, with no established end date. For individuals who do not feel comfortable to complete the online survey, there is the option to participate in a telephone interview.

The findings will be shared with rural and remote BC communities to support learning and collaboration across communities, and with health care decision-makers to support rural health care planning.

Click here to access survey: Rural Community Responses to COVID-19

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Rural residents spending $2,200 in travel per medical condition: survey

By Fran Yanor / Legislative Reporter
Rural B.C. residents who travelled outside their community for medical care paid an average of $2,200 in out-of-pocket expenses for visits related to a single health condition between 2017 and 2020, according to a survey by UBC’s Centre for Rural Health Research.

“When I actually saw the number, that blew me away,” said the Centre’s co-director and UBC associate professor Dr. Jude Kornelsen. “That’s a lot of money.”

Whereas people living in urban centres can reasonably access non-urgent care such as specialists’ consultations and diagnostic testing, those living in rural areas often need to travel long distances to receive similar care, according to the Out-of-Pocket Costs for Rural ResidentsWhen Traveling for Health Care report.

“The disproportionate impact of being rural and trying to access specialist services is huge,” said Kornelsen. “Most people who are urban-dwelling don’t realize this.”

The survey findings show the severity of a problem everyone knew existed, said Ed Staples, president of the BC Rural Health Network, a cross section of rural community organizations advocating for health care policy improvements.

“What we didn’t have was the evidence, the facts, the data, to support what we already knew.”

For some people it’s an inconvenience, Staples said. “But on the other end of the spectrum, people are actually not getting the care that they need because they can’t afford it. And that’s wrong.”

Next Steps
The next step is to use this document as a starting point, said Staples. “It needs to be the beginning of discussion so that we come up with solutions.”

Kornelsen envisions pulling together a multi-disciplinary team to figure out how to correct the situation.

“We have to figure out where the locus of change is,” said Kornelsen, “because right now we don’t know which policy needs to change.”
To read the full article, click on:

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COVID-19 Has Exposed the Perils of ‘Financialized’ Seniors’ Care

The pandemic has highlighted worse outcomes and more deaths in for-profit care homes.

In May, Orchard Villa, a long-term care home in Pickering, Ont., made headlines for a bad COVID-19 outbreak. Just two months into Ontario’s lockdown, 77 patients in the 233-bed home had died. A report by Canada’s military revealed horrifying conditions, short staffing and neglect.

Some family members blamed for-profit ownership, arguing that COVID-19 had simply exposed, in tragic fashion, the impact of prioritizing profits in the operation of seniors housing.

Notably, Orchard Villa had been purchased in 2015 by private equity firm Southbridge Capital, adding it to Canada’s growing stock of “financialized” seniors’ housing — bought by financial firms as an investment product.

To access the article, please click on: COVID-19 Has Exposed the Perils of ‘Financialized’ Seniors’ Care

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IT’S TIME FOR GOVERNMENTS TO LISTEN TO WORKERS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

The Council of Canadians is calling on governments across the country to do more to support and protect both the residents of long-term care and those who work to care for them.

Jan Malek July 2020
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a video conference where long-term care workers from across the country spoke about their experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada. Their stories echoed with sadness and frustration as they described the tragedy that has transpired in many homes across the country. 

To date, more than 8,800 people have died in seniors’ care homes across Canada from COVID-19, the majority of them in long-term care homes, according to numbers compiled by freelance journalist Nora Loreto. This number represents more than 80 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in the country. 

Canada’s shameful record of COVID fatalities in long-term care is the highest of all developed country in the world. A report by the Canadian Institute of Health Information found that “the proportion of deaths occurring in long-term care (LTC) is double the OECD average.” It is a national tragedy that cannot be ignored, especially as the threat of another wave of COVID-19 infections looms. 

Workers in long-term care homes have unique insights on what is needed to avoid additional tragedies. Governments should be listening to their experiences closely – not to the managers or the corporate faces representing the homes – but the people who work and provide care in the homes (and whenever possible, the people who live in them too).

 To read more, click on IT’S TIME FOR GOVERNMENTS TO LISTEN TO WORKERS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES 

Presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Finance

Presentation to the Select Standing Committee of Finance on rural health care. Edward Staples, President of BC Rural Health Network and Support Our Health Care – Princeton
Main topics:

– Access to Specialists
– Rural Health Councils
– Recruitment and retention of healthcare providers
– Transportation

A longer, written submission will be presented next week.

E.S. Presentation to SSC 2020 June 10

RISE

The new RISE program has a  range of free mental health resources (all phone or web based) available to British Columbians.

Free psychotherapy or counselling

Adults and older adults

•Access a free phone call with a Registered Psychologist though the COVID-19 Psychological First Aid Service from the BC Psychological Association. Visit www.psychologists.bc.ca/covid-19-resources

•Access free, phone-based, short-term support with a counsellor from the BC COVID-19 Mental Health Network. Email bccovidtherapists@gmail.com to receive an appointment time

•Visit Welless Together Canada to access free counselling and support as well as self-guided courses, apps, and other resources

For more information, visit https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/covid-19-mental-health-supports

 

BC Rural Health Network – May Newsletter

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May 2020 BCRHN Newsletter

A sample of what is in this issue:

  • Member of the Month – East Shore Kootenay Lake Community Health Cantre
  • Feature articles – Privatization: the pre-existing condition killing seniors in long-term care
  • blogs – The Renegade Nurse and Canadian Health Care Daily (Paul Gallant)
  • A new initiative: RISE – Reaching Rural Communities
  • BC Government News Release
  • Partner Update – Rural Evidence Review and BC Rural Health Network launch COVID-19 survey