Two homeless patients from Surrey were sent in a taxi to the Salvation Army Shelter according to a March 5 letter from Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove to Fraser Health. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

Chilliwack’s mayor has met with the health minister and the head of Fraser Health after two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial Hospital and sent by taxi to a shelter in Chilliwack, despite still needing medical care.

Ken Popove said he met with Minister Adrian Dix and Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee last weekend in Vancouver, in the wake of his scathing letter to the health authority about two incidents that happened in February.

READ MORE: Fraser Health slammed for taxi debacle

READ MORE: Taxi transfer topic reaches B.C. Premier

“I went there to talk about our community’s struggles to take care of vulnerable people who show up in Chilliwack,” Popove told Black Press Media. “It’s not that I am without compassion or empathy for their struggles, but I had to suggest that perhaps we have more than our fair share of homeless people.”

Last month, a 76-year-old woman with mobility issues and severe incontinence was sent via taxi to the Chilliwack Salvation Army after she was discharged from Surrey Memorial. A man in a wheelchair with open wounds on his feet arrived a few weeks later after being released from the same place. The shelter couldn’t accommodate either.

Popove said he may have “ruffled some feathers” during the meeting.

“There’s a breakdown in the system if people like this are falling through the cracks,” he said. “But overall, it was a very positive meeting.”

He went on to say health officials need to fully provide details to shelter workers when a patient needs a bed.

“They are supposed to send the patient’s file ahead of time so the shelters know what they are signing up for,” he said. “Shelter workers are not trained health professionals, and cannot provide medical care.”

He said he learned Chilliwack General Hospital discharges the largest number of people with no fixed address. Dix said he would look into it and consider a refresher on the discharge policy.

READ MORE: Shelter says no, taxi arrives anyway


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local community groups team up to fundraise for Cowichan Hospice Gardens

Artists for Hospice is Saturday February 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at 444 Parkhill Terrace

‘My intuition saved my life’: Lynda Diamond finds life after death

Lynda Diamond died of a cardiac arrest, and was revived by Dr. Graham Brockley at the LCHC

Tourism and film team up to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog première

Tourism Vancouver Island and Vancouver Island North Film Comission look to leverage film tourism

Chemainus woman sets a new standard for 106-year-olds

Active lifestyle includes a trip to Scotland in the works for May

Ladysmith Coldest Night of the Year aims to spread awareness throughout the Cowichan Valley

The event will raise funds that go toward supporting food security, poverty, and housing programs

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Nanaimo-bound ferry breaks down, but another available for service

Two sailings cancelled Sunday on Tsawwassen-Duke Point route

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

BC Ferries gets injunction against demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The preemptive injunction is a ‘last resort in the interest of public safety,’ spokesperson says

Most Read