Author Topic: Future of Nursing Home & Long-Term Care for Vets (merged)  (Read 22907 times)

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Joseph (Joe) Hawco is frustrated his dad doesn't qualify to live at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Caribou Pavilion in St. John's. - Photo by Steve Bartlett/The Telegram 
 
'He deserves to die with some dignity'
Veteran not eligible for DVA Pavilion; concerns raised program being phased out

STEVE BARTLETT
The Telegram


Joseph (Joe) Hawco may have served his country, but if you ask his son, Canada isn't doing much in return.

Hawco, 74, was a member of the Canadian Forces from '55 to '72 and has developed dementia in recent years.

His family is trying to get him into the Department of Veterans Affairs' Caribou Pavilion in St. John's.

They've discovered he doesn't qualify because he didn't serve in one of the World Wars or the Korean War.

"I'm embarrassed about the way he is being treated," says Hawco's son, Wayne. "I'm appalled by the way he's being treated. I think he deserves to die with some dignity. He served his country with dignity, integrity, respect, and for a man to get sick after all these years and not to have any help from the federal government and Department of National Defence, or anybody for that matter ... he's caught in the cracks."

Joe - who spent time in Germany, did two tours in Cyprus and reached the rank of corporal during his military career - has been at the Waterford Hospital for five weeks.

He had lived in a seniors' home with his wife until March, when his illness reached the point he could no longer stay there and he was moved to St. Luke's Home.

The decorated veteran and once-active Legionnaire was later sent to the Waterford for a two-week assessment. He's been there ever since.

Wayne says his dad has now gone into a major depression.

The Caribou Pavilion is a more appropriate place, the concerned son says, noting the facility treats dementia patients, has a first-class staff and would allow his father to be around peers.

"I want to see him respected in the final years of his life, not lying in bed at the Waterford Hospital because they got nowhere else to put him."

Wayne has contacted numerous government departments and other agencies about getting his dad into the pavilion.

Wayne says the legislation has to change for anything to happen.

He's working with St. John's East MP Jack Harris on the matter.

NDP lobbying for changes

Harris, an NDP member, says his party thinks all veterans should be treated equally.

He says his colleagues have raised the issue in the past and he intends to lobby on Hawco's behalf in the coming weeks.

"It seems like Veterans Affairs doesn't want to continue that service for all veterans," Harris says.

"It certainly seems that they would prefer to try to phase this out and not have the DVA Pavilion as the eligible people die off."

Carlos Lourenso is director of continuing-care programs with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He wasn't able to specifically speak about Hawco's situation, but he explained DVA Pavilions - or contract beds, as he calls them - were set up decades ago when there were few options in Canadian communities for veterans requiring chronic care.

Different benefits for Canadian Forces veterans

He says veterans who served after the Korean conflict - who he terms Canadian Forces veterans - have different benefits available, if their eligibility is determined through an application for a disability pension.

If their need for long-term care is linked to military service, Lourenso says, they could be eligible for supportive care in a nursing home.

"We can and do support CF veterans with their full costs of care in a broad range of community facilities."

Lourenso says the department is not engaged in expanding eligibility for Pavilion beds to Canadian Forces veterans.

Asked if the program is being phased out, he says that as the number of World War veterans decreases, if there isn't a demand, the "department will need to transition with respect to those beds."

He indicates the department will continue its full support of veterans requiring beds as a result of military service.

That's all little comfort to Wayne, who says his dad was turned down for disability benefits in 2008.

He says an appeal requires his father's signature and he is facing power of attorney hurdles in his efforts to try again.

Wayne is at a standstill about what to do next.

"What I am very, for want a better word, ticked off about is that he's not dying with any dignity. It's like the government has just shut him out."

sbartlett@thetelegram.com
 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 14:06:22 by milnews.ca »
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Nursing Home/Long Term Care for Vets (merged)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 20:29:54 »
The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital - The community is mobilizing

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/894825/the-sainte-anne-de-bellevue-hospital-the-community-is-mobilizing#.Tue3i1_nHDI.facebook

SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, QC, Dec. 13, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada, Quebec region (PSAC-Quebec), the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees (UVAE) and the entire veterans' community are mobilizing to save the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital.

"While negotiations between the federal government and the Government of Quebec on the last veterans' hospital in Canada are continuing, the union and the veterans' community are wondering about the fate that will befall veterans residing at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital if it is amalgamated with the CSSS de l'Ouest de l'Île," said UVAE president Yvan Thauvette.

To ensure that the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec negotiators do not forget how important the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital is to those who hold it dear to their hearts, a demonstration will be organized this Thursday at noon.

The details are as follows:

Date and time:     December 15, 2011 at noon
Lieu:        Gathering in front of the Harpell Centre at 60 St. Pierre Street, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
March:      Demonstrators will march along boul. des Anciens Combattants to the Hospital
Who:       Michael L. Blais, CD, Founder/Director, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
     Yvan Thauvette, UVAE President
     Magali Picard, Vice-President, UVAE

PSAC-Quebec and the UVAE are demanding that a single entity be maintained as a condition for the transfer of the hospital from the federal government to the Government of Quebec.  The union maintains this is essential to preserving the quality of services that veterans are entitled to receive.

PSAC represents more than 178,000 members across Canada.  An FTQ affiliate, PSAC-Quebec has more than 40,000 members in the federal public sector, including 600 members of the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees working at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue hospital.

PSAC-Quebec also has members in Quebec universities and in the private sector.
For further information:

Patrick Leblanc, political attaché, PSAC-Québec, 514-706-5997, leblanp@psac.com
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 15:51:14 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital - The community is mobilizing
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 07:14:42 »
Bumped with the latest from Question Period on the issue:
Quote
Ms. Annick Papillon (Québec, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, federal services provided to our veterans are under serious threat. Many of these individuals who risked their lives for this country suffer from health problems and are waiting for treatment. Transferring Ste. Anne’s Hospital and cutting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget will result in the loss of 1,800 jobs. Our veterans are not responsible for the Conservatives’ mismanagement. Will this government follow the lead of Great Britain and the United States and treat our war heroes properly?

Hon. Steven Blaney (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member just said, our government is maintaining veterans’ benefits. As for Ste. Anne’s Hospital, we will ensure that our veterans continue to receive high quality services in both official languages. We are doing this and we plan to transfer responsibility for Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the Government of Quebec for one very clear reason: we want to maintain high quality services for our veterans. We want to maintain the quality of the services offered to veterans and the public, as well as to maintain good jobs in health care.
Hansard, 1 Feb 12
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Bumped with the latest from Question Period on the issue:Hansard, 1 Feb 12
Quote
Ms. Annick Papillon (Québec, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, federal services provided to our veterans are under serious threat. Many of these individuals who risked their lives for this country suffer from health problems and are waiting for treatment. Transferring Ste. Anne’s Hospital and cutting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget will result in the loss of 1,800 jobs. Our veterans are not responsible for the Conservatives’ mismanagement. Will this government follow the lead of Great Britain and the United States and treat our war heroes properly?

Hon. Steven Blaney (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member just said, our government is maintaining veterans’ benefits. As for Ste. Anne’s Hospital, we will ensure that our veterans continue to receive high quality services in both official languages. We are doing this and we plan to transfer responsibility for Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the Government of Quebec for one very clear reason: we want to maintain high quality services for our veterans. We want to maintain the quality of the services offered to veterans and the public, as well as to maintain good jobs in health care.

Standby for transfer announcement?
Quote
.... The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Doctor Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services for the Government of Quebec, Senator Larry Smith and Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Member of the National Assembly for Jacques-Cartier, will be at Ste. Anne’s Hospital to provide an update on the future of the Hospital.

Accredited media representatives are invited to attend.

Location: Ste. Anne’s Hospital*
305 Veterans Boulevard
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec

Date: April 27, 2012

Time: 2:30 p.m.

The media are invited to speak with Minister Blaney and Minister Bolduc ....
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Quote
Canada's only hospital for war veterans could be accepting long-term care patients from the general population in about year from now.

Ottawa and Quebec signed an agreement in principle Friday afternoon to transfer Ste. Anne Hospital from federal to provincial control.

Citing a declining number of war veterans being cared for at the Ste. Anne de Bellevue institution, Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney said there was dire need to transfer the hospital to the province for its long-term care needs in the West Island area in order to maintain quality services and keep medical specialists.

Blaney said the level of care veterans receive at the hospital now will be maintained, adding the plan is to keep current staff in place after the transfer.

There are fewer than 400 veterans from Second World War and Korean Conflict currently being cared for at the hospital, down from about 725 patients 20 years ago.

Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc vowed bilingual services at the hospital will remain after the transfer, even for the civilians to be admitted for chronic long-term care. Once the transfer is finalized, the minister expects about 60 per cent of long-term care patients will originate from the West Island and 40 per cent will come from Vaudreuil-Soulanges, a region where a new acute-care hospital is to be built by 2018.

The target date for the transfer process to be completed is March 2013 ....
West Island Gazette, 27 Apr 12
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Sunnybrook vet facility issues => "inspector" + "audit"?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 22:16:46 »
8 Nov 12:
Quote
Canada's largest veterans facility is under fire from several families with complaints their frail relatives have been neglected or forced to endure unsanitary conditions.

They also say raising concerns at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre -- among them delayed bathing and feeding, soiled sheets, dead mice in rooms, a lack of toilet paper, and constant room and caregiver changes -- were mostly met with indifference or hostility.

"It's appalling what's going on in the veterans' wing of Sunnybrook," says Rodney Burnell, whose 92-year-old father George lives on the spartan 3rd floor of K-Wing.

"They fought for us and it's our turn to fight for them."

For its part, Sunnybrook suggests the complaints are coming from a handful of malcontents. The facility points to surveys showing sector-leading levels of patient and family satisfaction.

Complaints, it says, are taken seriously, investigated and acted on as required.

"We want every veteran to get the best care possible," says medical director, Dr. Jocelyn Charles.

In a section of its sprawling campus, Sunnybrook is home to 500 veterans of the Second World War and Korean War. For many, it's much like a pleasant old-age home.

Others need care for even basic functioning and live in a hospital-like setting. It is among this group the complaints seem loudest.

Some families -- those whose relatives need the most care -- say there's a bleak reality beyond the pomp of Remembrance Day, the welcoming gardens, and Warriors Hall with its well-worn furniture: Moaning patients ignored; others left to stare at ceilings for hours; dentures hanging from mouths.

The Burnells cite a litany of issues with George's care, including his being moved eight times without notice to the family.

"My husband was in a real panic. He didn't know where he was," Dorothy Burnell says.

"The family felt like he was just shoved around like a dirty rag," her son adds ....

10 Nov 12:
Quote
Relatives concerned about the care their frail loved ones are receiving at Canada's largest veterans facility said they were pleased Ottawa had sent in an inspector.  At the same time, they said they were skeptical about the impact the move would have on care levels at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.  "I think it's great, but now they're going to be prepared for it and everything is going to be bustling clean and everything is going to be all fine," said Rodney Burnell, who's ailing father George has been at Sunnybrook for three years.  "This inspector should go without them knowing. They're going to be put on a big show." .... the office of Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney said he was immediately dispatching a "senior official" to look into the complaints.  Sunnybrook spokesman, Craig DuHamel, said inspectors visited the unit on Friday.  "They didn't express any concerns," DuHamel said. "I think they were satisfied with the care we're providing." .... Even though it operates in Ontario — which has a nursing-home inspection regimen and regulations enacted in 2007 related to long-term care standards — the veterans facility does not fall under the province's scope ....

15 Nov 12
Quote
The federal government has ordered a thorough audit of the country's largest veterans facility following complaints from family members about substandard care, The Canadian Press has learned.

A senior official, who requested anonymity, said Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney gave the order on Thursday after hearing the "disturbing" allegations of neglect of frail vets at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.

The audit would focus both on how taxpayers' money is being spent and on the quality of the care provided, the official said.

"We're just trying to make sure that what veterans are getting there is of top-notch quality," he said from Ottawa.

"We want to make sure we're basing our action on credible evidence; the audit is the only tool to allow us to really determine what's going on the ground there."

The official said the aim is to have the audit completed by early next year. It will be as thorough and as detailed as possible, include conversations with relatives of patients, and the results would be made public, he said ....
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Re: The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Hospital - The community is mobilizing
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 15:50:33 »
Quote
.... The target date for the transfer process to be completed is March 2013 ....
West Island Gazette, 27 Apr 12
Not now - highlights below are mine....
Quote
Frustrated by the slowness of the transfer of the Ste. Anne Hospital from federal to provincial government control, union representatives for the close to 600 workers at the veterans hospital say they are now considering pressure tactics.

It was last March that an agreement in principle was signed by federal and provincial government officials that was supposed to see the federally-funded veterans hospital transferred to provincial government control by March 2013.

Almost one year later, Yvan Thauvette, national president of the Union of Veterans Affairs Canada (UVAE) — Public Service Alliance of Canada, said union representatives are now concerned that the transfer is nowhere near complete and further cuts in jobs and beds could be in the offing.

“The federal government is telling us it’s a long process and there’s a lot of bureaucracy on the provincial-government side, while provincial government officials are saying it’s hard to deal with the federal government,” Thauvette said on Tuesday.

The mixed messages are a concern, he said, adding the issue will be discussed when members gather Feb. 13 for their annual general meeting. In the wake of last week’s closure of a 33-bed unit at the hospital, he noted layoffs are expected.

“We will be talking about actions we can take in order to put pressure on both governments,” said Thauvette. Walking off the job would be illegal because they are not in negotiations but, he said, picketing is one possibility.

As for the negotiations, Jean Christophe de le Rue, an aide to Steven Blaney, the federal minister of veterans affairs, said they are progressing after being delayed last fall by the provincial government election and the change in government.

“Negotiations between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are currently under way to transfer Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the province before the end of the year,” De Le Rue said.

“Our government is determined to transfer the hospital to the Government of Quebec in 2013 so that the province can make use of the more than 100 empty beds available for the people of Montreal.” ....
West Island Gazette, 12 Feb 13
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More detail on the latest transfer timing estimate....
Quote
The target date for the completion of the transfer of the Ste. Anne Hospital from federal to provincial government control has been pushed ahead six months.

On Wednesday, a union official representing close to 600 workers at the hospital was told that the transfer would only be completed Sept. 30, not March 31, as originally stated when federal and provincial government officials signed an agreement in principle close to a year ago.

However, no further details about the hospital transfer was provided, said Yvan Thauvette, national president of the Union of Veterans Affairs Canada — Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Thauvette said he received a telephone call Wednesday morning from Richard Neville, the federal government’s chief negotiator, with the news.

Jean Christophe de le Rue, an aide to Steven Blaney, the federal minister of veterans affairs, confirmed the new hospital transfer date is now Sept. 30, but said he could offer no other information ....
West Island Gazette, 13 Feb 12
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Internal probe: mostly OK (but with stuff that needs fixing)
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 16:24:45 »
Quote
A review initiated by Canada's largest veterans centre in light of several care complaints has mostly praise for the facility.

The review released today finds the Sunnybrook veterans centre to be a leader in the quality of care it provides.

At the same time, the report urges the facility to come up with specific plans for high needs families and to minimize resident transfers.

The review follows complaints from relatives about what they see as substandard care of the most frail veterans in the 500-bed facility.

Sunnybrook CEO Dr. Barry McLellan says the report mentions several examples of excellent care, and is taking steps to implement recommendations for improvement.

A federal audit that was done in response to the families' concerns has yet to be finalized.

Last fall, several relatives stepped forward to complain about how their loved ones were being cared for.

Among other things, they complained about delayed and missed feedings, residents left languishing for hours in soiled diapers, dirty rooms and frequent patient moves.

Relatives were especially unhappy about how management dealt with their concerns, saying they were shut down and intimidated when they pressed issues.

In her review carried out last month, Karima Velji said she found no "systemic gaps" related to care or to safety and patient-relation mechanisms.

However, the senior executive at Baycrest — a research hospital focused on the elderly — did validate at least some of the complaints.

Among other things, she found Sunnybrook moves residents more often than many other facilities.

She urged the moves be minimized, noting the centre is "home" to the veterans.

In common with relatives' complaints, some nurses also expressed concerns to Velji about staffing levels, particularly in the afternoons and during off-hours.

"They related meal times as being amongst the busiest times on the unit and expressed a need for meal time support," the review states.

"Some staff members felt the access to equipment and supplies could be improved on some units. Staff related the need for more environmental cleanliness and support."

Veljo also identified damaged and strained relations between Sunnybrook and relatives of residents.

Some nurses even complained they were being spied on by the many private caregivers families feel the need to hire.

"The veterans centre should implement enhanced approaches to address the needs of families from admission onwards," Velji said.

"The program should consider a stronger adoption of the philosophy of 'admitting a resident means admitting their loved ones'." ....
The Canadian Press, 20 Feb 13
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Re: Internal probe: mostly OK (but with stuff that needs fixing)
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 16:52:16 »
Some nurses even complained they were being spied on by the many private caregivers families feel the need to hire.

 :nana:

Other than that,
it's nice to see that Sunnybrook Veterans Care Centre received a top notch assessment.
Well done  :salute:

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The latest, from the VAC Info-machine - also here if previous link doesn't work....
Quote
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, and Dr. Réjean Hébert, Minister of Health and Social Services for the Government of Quebec, today announced that the Hospital will have an autonomous status when it is transferred to the Government of Quebec.

( .... )

Post-transfer, Ste. Anne’s will be a separate entity, reporting directly to the Montréal Health and Social Services Agency, and administered by a Board of Directors. To ensure a successful transition and implementation of all elements of the transfer agreement, a transition committee will be established until March 31, 2017, reporting to that Board of Directors. Veterans Affairs Canada will continue to be engaged in this governance process.

The transfer of Ste. Anne’s Hospital will provide long-term benefits to Veterans, Hospital staff and Quebec residents alike. There is a declining demand for long-term care beds for traditional Veterans at the Hospital. Transferring Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the Government of Quebec will help to maintain and maximize the Hospital’s expertise in geriatrics and psychogeriatrics, and provide bed availability for other Quebeckers.

- mod edit to add archived version of news release -
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 06:15:53 by milnews.ca »
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

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Bumped with another example of a veteran not being the right kind of veteran to qualify for a veteran's nursing home bed ....
Quote
New Brunswicker Bill Beyea says if there ever comes a time when he needs help, he wants to be put in a veteran nursing home alongside his military family.

But he says right now, he’s not eligible.

Beyea served in Cyprus in 1964 and spent seven years in the military making him a modern-day veteran, according to Veterans Affairs.

At 72, Beyea volunteers with cadets, the Royal Canadian Legion and is on a committee that looks after the extra needs of those at Ridgewood Veterans care home in Saint John.

But because of his modern-day status, he’s not eligible to go to Ridgewood himself.

“If something happens to me and I have to go into a nursing home, I don’t qualify to go to Ridgewood. If I had to go to a nursing home, I want to go where the military people are,” he said.

Horizon Health confirmed that Ridgewood only accepts Second World War and Korean War veterans.

Veterans Affairs said they do pay for long-term care for a modern-day veteran in a community nursing home, if the veteran was injured while on duty ....
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

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Friggin' Poor.
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This probably belongs in the bigger discussion, but where is the Legion in all of this?
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This probably belongs in the bigger discussion, but where is the Legion in all of this?

It's Euchre night, common man.

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Bumped with the latest bit of post-election advice to PM-designate Trudeau:
Quote
.... he will pause to take a long look at the uncertainty surrounding our Ste-Anne’s Hospital for veterans in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.

As things stand now, the hospital is about to be transferred “from its long-standing … high standards of special care and concern for its charges under federal aegis to the disquieting and disturbing protocols of the (Quebec) provincial Health Department’s one-size-fits-all policy provisions.”

These words were written by Wolf William Solkin for a recent Montreal Gazette op-ed essay. Solkin, who calls himself a “permanent” patient at Ste-Anne’s Hospital, was expressing deep foreboding about his future, and that of his fellow veterans, virtually pleading that “the commendable conditions and standards of service so long identified with Ste-Anne’s be not diminished, degraded or destroyed as a consequence of the transfer soon to transpire.”

Solkin’s piece proffers a brilliant polemic, unapologetic, stark and thorough in its dissection of the veterans’ plight: required reading for anyone feeling equally uneasy.

When MP Jim Karygiannis, former Liberal Veterans’ Affairs critic, toured Ste-Anne’s Hospital two years ago, his trepidation mirrored Solkin’s misgivings.

“I wanted to understand the work that they’re doing (at Ste-Anne’s). I think the staff is dedicated. My only concern is that this will not be lost when it’s transferred to the province.”

Happily, today there’s a new sheriff in town, a prime minister who embraces a freshly enlightened approach to the needs and expectations of veterans.

And, fortunately, his local team includes the well-regarded veteran Liberal member for Lac-Saint-Louis, Francis Scarpaleggia, and the new but experienced Liberal deputy for Vaudreuil-Soulonges, Peter Schiefke. Among other achievements, Schiefke was founder of the award-winning We Will Always Remember project which “pays tribute to veterans.”

Then there is the Liberal government in Quebec, perhaps more open and less confrontational than we have experienced in the recent past.

Surely, with these forces smoothly aligned, it’s time to tackle the Ste-Anne’s dilemma head on ....
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An update ...
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Ste. Anne’s Hospital is on track to be transferred from Veterans Affairs Canada to the provincial health-care system on April 1, a move which will affect employees and local residents.

The facility in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue is the last hospital operated by the federal government. Beds are reserved for veterans of Second World War and the Korean War or veterans of other Allied forces that require care that is not available at other locations, according to Veterans Affairs Canada.

Fewer and fewer veterans are eligible for care at Ste. Anne’s, and 130 of the hospital’s 466 beds were closed. The transfer would open the beds to all Quebec residents, according to Quebec’s health ministry. The hospital would be operated by the CIUSSS Ouest-de-l’Île, and may become a geriatric-care centre.

( ... )

Many West Islanders reside at Grace Dart far from their families, said Francis Scarpaleggia, the MP for the Lac-Saint-Louis riding, where the hospital is located. Moving them to empty beds at Ste. Anne’s could bring them closer to their families.

“It’s located quite strategically in a way, because it’s in the West Island but it’s close to Off-Island communities, like Hudson and St-Lazare,” Scarpaleggia said.

“(The transfer) doesn’t mean that the veterans cease to be the responsibility of the federal government,” he added, inviting constants to contact him if services for veterans are not meeting standards. Federal agreements set out levels of health-care services for veterans ...
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The latest:
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For almost 100 years the veterans hospital in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue has been run by the federal government; today all that changed.

The institution was officially transferred from federal to provincial jurisdiction.

    “Some guarantees have been put in place so we can ensure the same level of care for veterans, that’s in written agreement” said Lac-St-Louis MP Francis Scarpaleggia.

The change-over was hotly debated for years.

Many veterans had been pushing back, fearing diminishing care, lack of services, and staff that could be less fluent in English ...
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Offline 57Chevy

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Saint-Anne's 130 million dollar Veterans hospital sold to Quebec for 1 dollar.
 What a shame !!!
 At least 43% agree with me because staff members quit their job or otherwise moved out.
 As I have always said about Veterans Hospitals, and I say again,
 Responsibility cannot be delegated.
 Veterans are a Federal responsibility, not Provincial.

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This is now circulating on the net:

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BELOVED GENERAL OF CANADIAN ARMY NOT ELIGIBLE FOR LONG-TERM CARE IN VETERANS HEALTH CENTER

Lieutenant General Charles Belzile, one of the popular soldiers and beloved by most Canada’s veterans, including those of the Korean War and the years since, is now very ill and incapacitated and his family would greatly appreciate it if he could be admitted to the Veteran’s Wing of the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre in Ottawa.

However, General Belzile is one of those soldiers who arrived in Korea after the Korean War Military Armistice Agreement went into effect. Only veterans from the Second World War and the Korean War are eligible to receive government-funded long term care treatment in the government facilities.

He served in Korea with the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, initially as a platoon commander. He and his men patrolled the DMZ right to the wire that runs along the Military Demarcation Line. Sometimes they would meet a Chinese patrol. At times there would be sporadic fire from both sides. On one occasion he led a patrol to the MDL to retrieve a soldier from Canada’s Royal Highland Regiment who had accidentally crossed the wire in darkness and had been captured.

He and his men spent much time clearing mines from the lines and behind the lines and had casualties.
In various ranks he served on various many Nations and NATO deployments.

In Korea on a special November 11 revisit in 2013, General Belzile told veterans at his table in the Grand Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, “Please, just call me Charlie. I am not in the army anymore.” Then he added, “But I do have a history.”

While he commanded the entire Canadian Army before his retirement, he is perhaps the most congenial and unpretentious of any general officer of modern times.

Of his days as a lieutenant in Korea, leading a platoon whose soldiers he would remember always, he has said, “In those days my mind didn’t go much beyond being a lieutenant.”

A native French speaker, in his service prior to becoming a general officer he was adjutant of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, and then commanding officer of the French-speaking Royal 22e Regiment, Canada’s famous ‘Vandoos.’

As a major general he commanded Canada's forces in Europe and later, as a lieutenant general, he was commander of the entire Canadian Army.

Among his many prestigious roles following his retirement General Belzile served as the honorary grand president of the Royal Canadian Legion, and as the president of the Normandy Battlefields Association, now called the Canadian Battlefields Association.

While his country did not award him the Korean War Medal because he arrived in Korea after the armistice, he did receive the United Nations Medal for the Korea War and – 40-some years later - the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal Korea. He also received campaign medals for his NATO and United Nations deployments.

General Belzile has been invested in the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Canadian Decoration and France’s French Légion d’Honneur.

Canada, using now ancient legislation conceived with lack of knowledge or disregard of the war situation that existed in Korea in the immediate post war year, denies the long-term care benefit to any soldier who landed in Korea after July 27, 1953.

Of the 378 Canadian soldiers buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Busan, 22 of them lost their lives after the cease fire agreement went into effect.

All 378 of those good soldiers, including the 22 who fell following the July 27, 1953 armistice, are listed in Canada’s Korean War Book of Remembrance which is enshrined in the Peace Tower at the Canadian Parliament buildings.

The United States, using more enlightened criteria, awarded the Korea Service Medal all service personnel who served in Korea from June 25, 1950 through December, 1954 – adding an extra year to the eligibility requirement. This was done in light of the continuous intense situation along the border, the woundings and deaths of many American soldiers, and the very real situation in which the enemy forces might attack South Korea again without any warning.

They are all granted the same veterans benefits.

Lieutenant Commander (Ret’d) Bill Black, president of the National Capital Unit of the Korea War Veterans Association of Canada has written a poignant letter to an official at the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Care Centre.

He references General Belzile’s current health condition. He also alludes to an article published by the Korean War veteran that discussed the unfortunate situation in which Korean War Veterans of the post-armistice period are denied privileges and rights that are available to veterans who served in the Korean War prior to the signing of the armistice agreement.

The first part of his message deals with General Belzile and comments made by General’s Belzile’s wife. She advised Bill Black that it would be several years before her husband could be admitted to the Perley and Rideau center.

Even if that happened, Bill Black points out in his letter, that General Belzile would only be entitled to be admitted to the senior citizen’s part of the complex, for which he would be charged room and board. He would be denied admission to the Veteran’s wing because he arrived in Korea after July 27, 1953 and is not classified as a war veteran who meets the criteria for residency in a veterans long-term care facility.

Here is part of Bill Black’s letter:

… Furthermore, because he, a retired Lt. General not having served in War would
not be classified as a veteran, therefore would be of ineligible status for the veterans' wing.
And of course further ignominy is the fact these 'non' veterans pay much more for long term car than the 'real' veterans the government recognizes.

The men killed in Korea- post war years are listed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance --not in the Peacekeepers'. Actually the term Peacekeeper was an unknown term in the early 1950’s.

Amazingly our government has managed to identify three distinctly separate
classifications of veterans. Yet, have not all veterans, post Korean War Armistice era agreed to lay down their lives in Defence of Freedom and serve wherever they are sent?

I think the proof is abundantly illustrated with the numbers of Canadian men and women who've paid the supreme sacrifice these past 63 years since Korea.

Perhaps it's time we set the record straight and disentangle this illogical disgraceful and appalling veteran discrimination and honour our men and women with equal recognition because they're all of the same ilk who serve and die for our country.

A veteran is a veteran.

Regards,

Bill Black
Korea Veterans association
National Capital Unit 7
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Deal - closed ...
Quote
The Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, Gaétan Barrette; the Minister responsible for Native Affairs and member for the riding of Jacques-Cartier, Geoffrey Kelley; Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Kent Hehr; as well as Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis, announced the official transfer of Ste. Anne's Hospital (SAH) to the Quebec health and social services network today ...
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What gets me; is that once the last of the Korea and WW II veterans dies off, what happens to these Veterans Homes? Are all other Veterans considered "Second Class Veterans"?
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What gets me; is that once the last of the Korea and WW II veterans dies off, what happens to these Veterans Homes? Are all other Veterans considered "Second Class Veterans"?
Good question - my guess is that the bed'll get taken over by provincially-funded agencies, and eventually, there'll be no more "veterans" beds left.
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Offline ModlrMike

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Good question - my guess is that the bed'll get taken over by provincially-funded agencies, and eventually, there'll be no more "veterans" beds left.

WARNING: thread split potential

We were discussing this very question at work the other day. Someone raised the idea that the Legion and/or similar agencies could step into the void. Private homecare and eventual PCH care would seem a logical evolution. It might not be as low cost as the Veterans Affairs care, but it could be done economically.

Thoughts?

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WARNING: thread split potential
Good idea - now merged with other long-term care & nursing home bed issues for vets.
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