Decision called “outrageous” and will affect home-care in district with highest number of seniors
Although it’s only been a few weeks since Bill 10—the government’s new health reform law—created the new regional health centres that are meant to transform medical care in both the city and the province, several local caregivers were surprised to hear that health executives working for the west end’s Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) are planning to close down a popular local senior drop-in centre that has been a vital part of the local CLSC’s home-care services for the past 25 years.
“It’s outrageous,” said at least one well-placed source who is still working within the city’s medical community.
Even as the city’s entire health community is still reeling from the multiple millions that are being carved away from their working budgets, health and social service workers within the Réné Cassin CLSC (Centre Local de Services Communautaires) are left to wonder why the regional health center’s management decided to close down what is one of the more successful (and least expensive) programs in the city’s entire extended domestic health care system.
“For sure it cost money,” said The Suburban’s source. “But this is my mother and I want her to have the best care I can find when I’m not there to take care of her.’
According to Véronic Lapalme—a local union leader—the CLSC staff are already getting ready to mount their own offensive against the CIUSSS decision to close the drop-in center. In a petition that is beginning to make its way onto the city’s social media pages, the Réné Cassin drop-in center is described as being one of the oldest drop-in centers of its kind in the province.
According to program director Liza Lacasse and health care executive Christine Touchette, there is little that can be done to reverse the regional health care manager’s decision. “People should think about it as a re-organization instead of just saying that we’re closing the facility,” said Touchette.
During a subsequent interview, Herb Finkleberg – the head of the Cumming’s Center for Seniors—said that although he had already spoken to regional health executives about the impending closure, he believes that all of the communities assorted senior support groups will have to pitch in if they are to come up with a solution for all of the CLSC’s clients who will soon have nowhere to go. “I could open up on Sunday,” Finkleberg said, “…but so far, I can’t do it because there’s no money to pay for it.”
While other senior support groups such as NDG’s New Hope Center and Westmount’s Saint Marguerite may be able to help, nothing is yet clear.
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