No empathy from FHA

Charging the elderly for wheelchairs is just unfair.

I am extremely tired of the Orwellian “news-speak” by the Minister of Health and the Fraser Health Authority, with their slush fund-style cash grab in the guise of wheelchair maintenance from the very ill, elderly residents in provincial extended care facilities.

The claim that “only those who can afford it are expected to help pay for the maintenance of the wheelchairs supplied to them at no cost” is disingenuous at best, as by taking the money out of the “comfort fund,” no one can claim hardship.

Residents in provincial extended care pay 80 per cent of their monthly income to the FHA, with the remainder, $200 and change, left for the resident.

Out of this $200 a month, the resident maintains a “comfort fund” to buy such luxuries as Kleenex, haircuts and styling products, lotions, and other indulgences.

The Ministry of Health, through its agents the Fraser Health Authority, is now trying to drain residents’ bank accounts and what small amounts of money which is left each month through extra billing through the comfort fund.

This means that no one can claim hardship as there is always monies left over to pay into the comfort fund. The ministry and the FHA know this well, yet they still pander to the media with their ugly distortions. Shame on them.

If the FHA is really short of money, I have another solution –  let the province reduce by 50 per cent all wages over $100,000 per year of all employees and management.

Oh yes, I hear the howls and screams now.


Malcolm Johnston, Delta

Surrey North Delta Leader

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