Plans to bring seniors care to SPH come with concerns

Health association chair worries about Oak Bay families' willingness to travel to Central Saanich

The municipality of Central Saanich plans to open lines communication with the Vancouver Island Health Authority to discuss the possibility of an extended care facility at Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

A health group is concerned about the municipality of Central Saanich looking into the possibility of having an extended care facility at Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

At the council meeting on July 3, Central Saanich council agreed unanimously to put a motion forward to open the lines communication between the municipality and the Vancouver Island Health Authority. The motion comes after Oak Bay council turned down Baptist Housing and VIHA’s application to replace the aging Oak Bay Lodge extended care home with a newer, larger facility.

“I was listening to CFAX last week and I heard the CEO of VIHA talking about how they were going to be looking for a new location for the extended care facility,” said Coun. Adam Olsen. “I took the opportunity on Monday to put a motion forward that council write a letter, just to see how we might be able to work with them.”

Saanich Peninsula Health Association chair Bud MacLean said a project like the one recently proposed in Oak Bay would have both positive and negative impacts if it were developed on the Peninsula.

“It would be great to have extra beds, yes, but logically VIHA would want to close Oak Bay Lodge and move those patients out to Central Saanich. What about their families, will they come visit? Proximity to family is one of the most important things when considering extended care and to move people out to Central Saanich from Oak Bay would be a disaster,” MacLean said.

Olsen said his main goal was to simply open communication between the two groups.

“If they’re interested, we want to let them know that there may or may not be an opportunity to engage with us out here on the Peninsula,” said Olsen. “There are many communities that they could move to, but we wanted to voice our collective desire to engage with them and see where it could go.”

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