Hospital corp. questioned over continuing care fees

The NDP’s health critic is questioning why patients holed up in hospital beds for long-term care are being charged.

The NDP’s health critic is questioning why patients holed up in hospital beds for long-term care are being charged.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation’s chair Craig Tuton and CEO Jason Bilsky were in front of the Yukon legislative assembly Nov. 27.

About one-third of the 55 hospital beds at Whitehorse General Hospital are typically used as continuing care beds, due to a shortage of beds at the territory’s four continuing care facilities.

MLA Jan Stick questioned what kind of care a person receives at the hospital compared to continuing care facilities.

“The longer individuals stay in acute care without those extra supports needed, their health tends to deteriorate and their well-being. An acute care hospital is not a place for people who don’t need acute care,” she said.

Bilsky agreed that people who do not require acute care should not be in the hospital. He said the hospital does the best it can.

“It is a collaborative care situation, where we have physiotherapists, we have social workers, and we have caregivers that are specialized in nursing. We even have for those First Nation clients a specialized First Nation program that helps them navigate the system – food programs such as traditional foods for them and traditional healing if necessary,” he said.

Tuton confirmed long-term care patients staying in hospital beds are charged $35 a day. The charge is written into legislation, MLAs heard.

Bilsky said the $35 a day fee is consistent with other facilities. “It is unfortunate, but it is occupying an acute care bed and the cost of that acute care bed is probably in the neighbourhood of anywhere from two to four times what a long-term facility is,” he said.

“So it’s important that we ensure there is consistency across the system. As I said, we’re working very hard to make sure that we’re providing a standard of care that’s, I guess, the best that we can do in that scenario.”

In continuing care facilities residents would be receiving things like room of their own, where they have their own furnishings, a sense of community, caregivers and recreation workers, Stick said.

“I’m really troubled by this $35 per diem. I don’t think it’s fair. I’m sure they are getting adequate care and the best care that they can, given the circumstances that they’re in an acute care hospital, but I do have a problem with this. I’m surprised by it.”

Health Minister Doug Graham criticized Stick for entering into a debate with the members of the hospital corp. In the end, she said she would come back to the issue at another time.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Turtle and rhino fossils fill in ‘massive’ Yukon history gap

Fossils discovered in 1973 are turning heads

In with the old for Dawson City

Town council considers new heritage bylaw

Housing First facility is open, still more work to do, housing advocate says

Residents will be moved in by the end of the month

Whitehorse releases proposed $33M capital budget for 2020

It includes money for upgrading city infrastructure along with focusing on reducing energy use

Whitehorse animal shelter in dire straits, humane society says

Humane Society Yukon is holding a public meeting Nov. 26 to determine shelter and society’s future

Driving with Jens: Yielding is at the heart of defensive driving

If you’re like most people, you probably think about whether you have right-of-way, not yielding

Today’s mailbox: Remembrance Day, highway work

Letters to the editor published Nov. 13

F.H. Collins Warriors beat Vanier Crusaders in Super Volley boys volleyball final

“As long as we can control their big plays to a minimum, we’ll be successful”

Yukonomist: The squirrel, the husky and the rope

The squirrel is political popularity.

Government workers return to Range Road building

The building had been evacuated in October.

City news, briefly

The Food for Fines campaign and transit passes for a refugee family came up at City Hall this week

Rams, Warriors win Super Volley semifinals

The girls final will be Vanier and Porter Creek while the boys final will be F.H. Collins and Vanier

Most Read