Health care service decline bad for seniors

Author upset over how the vanishing local health services are leaving seniors without health care.

Dear Editor

Is there such a thing as “geriatricide”? It’s not in the dictionary – but I wonder.

Is it now a government policy if there is?

The “fiscally sound” actions currently proposed by Interior Health would seem pre-destined to prove that the concept of “geriatrice” is real. It’s real! And it may well work in small B.C. communities with higher than normal populations of senior citizens such as Ashcroft.

How? Take away our doctors! Those graduates from medical schools we’ve subsidized with taxes paid in our lifetime.

Close our hospitals! Shut down their programs! Those buildings, facilities and equipment which were initially paid for with local funds. Funds still being raised largely by seniors working in our thrift shop.

Finally, limit the rates paid to local paramedics! This ensures none have the required training to even transport any heart or stroke patient to the nearest hospital. When minutes count – make sure it will take hours!

Will it work? Interior Health seems determined to find out with its latest proposal.

Will they be happy if they also kill a good part of the community which has been a safe home for seniors?

Will it matter to them if those who can afford to leave such a community do?

It doesn’t matter that you’d rather stay – staying may kill you. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford to live in comfort elsewhere – move.

Am I paranoid? Hysterical? Delusional? Maybe. But in the end, whether such an outcome was predetermined or accidental, it will happen. People who did not need to will die. And a community with a great history and great residents will struggle harder to survive.

Don’t I know, these authorities ask, that health costs are skyrocketing as the percentage of seniors rise? Of course. But I’m not convinced we’re they only reason. And if one calculated the lifetime medical costs for the majority of us living here, I’ll guarantee the total would be but a tiny fraction of the moey we’ve paid in taxes during our lifetime to date. And still pay.

Yes, we pay – but we shouldn’t have to pay with out lives. For whether the resulting “geriatricide” is a planned outcome of Interior Health or an accidental byproduct, the results will be the same. Some people will die.

And to ensure that happens, all that good people need to do is stand by and say nothing. Not me. What about you?

Patricia Kilt

Ashcroft