Delta South MLA Ian Paton provided the following statement Saturday afternoon regarding the recent layoff notices to employees at the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner.
Opposed to offering medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and about to lose its provincial funding later next month, the Delta Hospice Society board on Friday said it had no choice but to issue the layoffs, drawing strong reaction.
Here's what Paton had to say in a post on his Facebook page as well in an email to the Optimist:
"As the Hospice transitions to Fraser Health's authority, it will undergo a restructuring. I understand that all current hospice staff will be offered employment through the Fraser Health Authority. More direction will be given in the coming weeks.
I am seeking additional clarification from the Minister: Where in Delta will patients be transferred? Will hospice staff be guaranteed employment at the newly structured Hospice, or is it possible they will be sent elsewhere within the health region? When will the re-structured hospice begin accepting patients again?
I call on the Ministry of Health and Fraser Health to immediately release details of the transition plan so that patients, staff, and members of the public can be reassured of the Hospice’s future.
As your MLA for Delta South, my top priority is ensuring patients at the Irene Thomas Hospice continue to receive the highest quality of care possible, and that the hard-working staff are looked after. I will continue to work with Minister Dix and Fraser Health representatives to ensure both patients and staff are well-equipped to deal with the potential challenges that may occur during this transition period.
Once again, I am renewing my call for the current Hospice president and her board of directors to do the right thing and resign immediately. The best thing for our community and for the Hospice is to remove their damaging influence and begin to work cooperatively with Fraser Health on the upcoming transition and restructuring."