Government dodges Copper Ridge concerns

Government dodges Copper Ridge concerns First, after less than a week on the job, the minister of health responded to Yukoners' concerns about the quality of continuing care in the Yukon by telling CBC's Nancy Thomson that legislation wouldn't help. The

First, after less than a week on the job, the minister of health responded to Yukoners’ concerns about the quality of continuing care in the Yukon by telling CBC’s Nancy Thomson that legislation wouldn’t help.

The minister might better have said he’d take a minute to look into the situation and provide a response in a timely manner. He might also have recognized the possibility that legislation and regulation could at least provide a foundation upon which the quality of continuing care could be offered and an instrument upon which current and future concerns could be played and corrected if necessary.

Second, as more families and friends come forward with their concerns about Copper Ridge, the assistant deputy minister of continuing care responds by leaving a message on CBC’s voice mail. Seriously? Her subsequent statements, likely produced with the aid of a (not very competent) government communication analyst, spewed statistics and platitudes like “you won’t get better care anywhere else in Canada.” Really? All-encompassing statements like that don’t fool anybody.

The ADM issued more bureaucratic filler such as, being “very much in touch with what best practices are.” She neglected to say whether they actually followed the best practices, or even whether the “best” was adequate and appropriate to Copper Ridge.

Government responses like these merely read like advertising by a corporation hoping its market will remember the sound bite and not think too much about what’s actually being said.

How about a little integrity, Yukon government? How about you actually do what you’re mandated to do Ð that’s to look after the interests of the citizens, including those too old or infirm or frightened to speak out.

Why don’t you take the time you’re all using to cover your political and bureaucratic butts and use it instead to find out what’s really going on and fix it? Instead of wasting time trying to convince more and more stakeholders that everything is fine, spend your energy developing legislation and regulation to define our expectations of the continuing-care system, and the means to hold accountable the appropriate person(s) when those standards are not met.

G. Riley

Whitehorse