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NDVA Committee Report

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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE INTERIM REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS (SCONDVA)


 

 

Mr. David Pratt, M.P.

Chair

Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs

House of Commons

180 Wellington, Room 609

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A6

 

Dear Mr. Pratt:

 

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to enclose the Government Response to the recommendations contained in the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs= interim report of June 2002, entitled ALong-Term Care for Veterans: The West Coast Crisis@.

 

The report provided the Government with timely perspectives on various issues facing our Veterans in B.C.  As the enclosed response to your recommendations demonstrates, a number of positive steps are being taken to ensure appropriate care of Veterans in B.C.

 

I am confident that the future work of your committee will provide useful perspectives and advice on ways to ensure that Canada=s Veteran population continues to receive the high standard of care to which they are entitled.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, P.C., M.P.

 

Attachment

 

 

CC: Clerk of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs

 


 

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE INTERIM REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS (SCONDVA)

 

 

 

 

LONG‑TERM CARE FOR VETERANS: THE WEST COAST CRISIS

 

 

 

 

 

Produced by

Veterans Affairs Canada

P.O. Box 7700

Charlottetown, PE C1A 8M9

Fax: (902) 566‑8508

Web site: www.vac‑acc.gc.ca

 

8 Copyright Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada representing the Minister of Veterans of Affairs,, 2002

Cat. No.  V32‑104/2002

ISBN  0‑662‑66974‑6

 

 


 

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

 

Recommendation 1

 

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) immediately provide additional funding to ensure that the quality of long-term care provided to Veterans at The Lodge at Broadmead, the George Derby Centre, and other health care centres in British Columbia (B.C.) is not adversely affected by any shortfalls in provincial and other funding.

 

Response

 

The Government of Canada takes it responsibilities and commitments to Veterans seriously.  Canada has a proud history of recognizing and remembering the contributions of those who have served this country, in times of war and peace. Ensuring that quality long-term care is available to meet the health needs of Veterans remains a priority for the Government of Canada.  VAC is committed to working with its partners, in this case, facilities in B.C., to ensure an appropriate resolution to the B.C. situation.

 

On October 9 and 10, 2002, respectively VAC representatives met with officials from both The Lodge at Broadmead and the George Derby Centre regarding funding to these facilities which is intended to offset the financial challenges brought on by provincial changes in funding in B.C. and to provide enhanced programming for Veterans. 

 

Recommendation 2

 

Veterans Affairs Canada become more involved in the control and management of the waitlist for our Veterans seeking access to long-term residential care facilities in B.C.

 

Response

 

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that quality long-term care is available to meet the health needs of Veterans.  The Government is committed to working with its partners, in this case, health authorities in B.C., to ensure an appropriate resolution to the B.C. waitlist situation.

 

Discussions are currently underway with the Regional Health Authorities in order to enable VAC to have increased control in the administration of individual facility waitlists for VAC=s priority access beds (PABs). 

 

The intent is to have the names of any Veteran not meeting the provincial criteria forwarded to VAC to ensure VAC is able to provide the necessary care requirements (either in the home or in a private or community facility). 

 

VAC has committed to maintain individual waitlists.  This approach will ensure that Veterans continue to have access to the PABs in B.C. and that VAC will be aware of what Veterans are placed in PABs and what Veterans are actually in need of a bed.  These specific actions will provide improved management of the waitlist situation in B.C.

 

The Government would like to assure the public that the number of PABs is not going to be reduced.  It is stipulated in VAC=s current policy that in instances where an eligible Veteran requires care but does not meet provincial criteria and, therefore, cannot be admitted to a provincially insured bed, VAC will pay, up to the full cost of care in a private facility or meet the Veterans= needs through the provision of the Veterans Independence Program (VIP).

 

Recommendation 3

 

Veterans Affairs Canada undertake the renegotiation of the 1996 Transfer Agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the Province of B.C., and the George Derby Long-Term Care Society and of the agreements with other B.C. centres providing long-term health care to Veterans, in light of the changes made by the Government of B.C. in its funding and residential care access policies, effective April 15, 2002.

 

Response

 

The Government believes that if Recommendations 1and 2 were put in place, it would not be necessary to renegotiate any existing agreements.  Renegotiations are not necessary as the funding changes to major facilities in B.C. (Recommendation 1) are to be approved and finalized in the Fall 2002, under annual operating agreements.  The waitlisting of clients within facilities in B.C. will be properly managed by VAC=s Region/District (Recommendation 2). The Government does not feel at this time, that renegotiation would be beneficial or necessary.  However, such renegotiations are an option if VAC=s implemented response does not address the issues raised in Recommendations 1 and 2.  Changes to annual operating agreements are the most efficient and expedient means to respond to the current challenges for Veterans care in B.C.  Transfer Agreements are more general in nature and do not offer the flexibility to respond to changes quickly.