Further response from the Minister of Health Services and the Minister of Healthy Living and Sport to the Ombudsperson’s public report, The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 1)
Public Report No. 44, The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 1) was issued on December 17, 2009. It includes the joint response of the Ministry of Health Services and the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, dated November 24, 2009, to its findings and recommendations.
On January 7, 2010, the Minister of Health Services and the Minister of Healthy Living and Sport wrote to me again in relation to the contents of that report. After consideration of this situation and discussion with the ministers, I am including this document as an afterword or addendum to the ministries’ earlier response.
I am doing this because I believe that this additional response contains important information for residents in care facilities and their families. In the letter, the ministers indicate they believe that people who have complaints about the treatment they or family members receive have an “an ethical obligation” to bring these complaints to the Patient Care Quality Offices and that if this is done, they both “will ensure individual complainants are contacted with the results of the investigation into their complaints” as well as being informed about options for further reviews conducted by both health authorities and ministries if people are not satisfied with the initial outcome. They go on to confirm their ministries will “follow up with each health authority to ensure any substantiated complaints are addressed.”
These are significant commitments on the part of the ministers and I believe will be welcomed by residents, family members and family councils.
The attached documents set out those commitments. Residents, family members and family councils as well as others who play an active role in working toward the best of care for seniors in residential care facilities in British Columbia are able to refer to these documents if they find that useful in the course of seeking a fair resolution to a concern they have raised, or even include the documents with their complaints.
I would also take the opportunity to remind people that if, after a health authority and the ministries have conducted reviews, they remain concerned that they have not been fairly treated, they may raise that concern with the Office of the Ombudsperson.
Province of British Columbia
January 7 joint letter from the Minister of Health Services and the Minister of Healthy Living and Sport