Former city councillor, Douglas Evans, left in Burnaby Hospital
BURNABY – The family of former Burnaby city councillor Douglas Evans say his health has worsened after he was left in an acute care bed at Burnaby Hospital because residential or long-term care options do not exist.
Evans, 83, was picked up by police after getting lost while out for a walk. He was admitted to Burnaby Hospital by a psychiatric doctor. When his family arrived at the hospital, they found him heavily medicated, and restrained to a bed wearing only a diaper. He’s been in hospital for 12 weeks, and his family says his condition is substantially worse than when he was first admitted. In his time at hospital, Mr. Evans first contracted pneumonia and then C. difficile.
“The overlying problem is that the hospital is not ideally suited to deal with patients like Mr. Evans,” said New Democrat health critic Mike Farnworth. “Unfortunately we’ve seen many cases like this of patients requiring specialized care being placed in general wards at hospitals, simply because there were no other options available.
“This is inefficient from a financial point of view but more importantly, it’s bad for the family and bad for the patient.”
“The family just wants Mr. Evans to be able to enjoy life, to be up and around,” said Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan. “They don’t want to see him be restrained in a hospital bed because the hospital doesn’t have the capability to care for him.
“They’ve watched him get worse since he was admitted to hospital. Not only has he contracted infections, it’s clear that the specialized care he needs is not available to him.”
A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study found 20 per cent of acute care beds were taken up by patients who required an alternate level of care, but could not access any other facility. It found that seniors were waiting months in hospital because residential care facilities were not available.