Excellent comments here in the last few days after we introduced the case of Kathleen Palamarek, the 88-year old woman rescued by BC Ambulance paramedics from near fatal narcotic poisoning in the care facility where she is forced to reside against her will. Denying Mrs. Palamarek the right to live at home with family members of her choice denies that hospital space to a needy citizen who has no other options.
Read How things work, when they don’t work for detail.
Joan L., commenting at the first article, notes the failure of the BC Ombudsperson to deliver a timely final report on Senior’s care. The subject has been under review far too long. Recommendations made in 2009 by the Ombudsperson have not been implemented. One of those orphaned suggestions leaves seniors almost completely vulnerable. It called for,
“a reliable and objective process to monitor and evaluate the degree to which residents’ rights are respected.”
That is like the income tax department operating without reviews, audits or assessments. How is that government trusts profit making healthcare businesses to do the right thing but not taxpayers? For too many operators, rules without enforcement allows operations without rules. Pioneer citizens who should be enjoying their last years are stacked in warehouses of the moribund, mere commodities of a callous BC Liberal government.
The apparent passivity of the Ombudsperson in this matter relates to the enabling act. She had promised to have a report ready in fall 2010 for delivery to government stakeholders, with public release in 2011. The Ombudsperson website has not updated its public comment in 8 months. That alone is inexcusable. I presume, with confidence, that the Ombudsperson’s action is stalled by government officials.
We should renew our applause for Ms. Turpel-Lafond, the Representative for Children and Youth. She refused to be slapped down or put off by imperious bureaucrats. She went to the public and waged war to fulfill her duties assigned by law. That resulted in a new Minister, a new Deputy Minister and negotiation of a new comprehensive working arrangement between the Representative and the Ministry.
The Representative delivered heroically. Perhaps the same degree of integrity and courage is not found in the Ombudsperson’s office. As Joan L. asks,
“How many elderly people have since died unnecessarily and prematurely, or are living in fear and despair because no one was there for them for these past three years?”