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.

Just Posted

Northern Vancouver Island regional science fair winners – 2019

Daniel Kornylo won one of the 12 provincial science fair awards.

North Island Eagles select head coaches for upcoming season

“We appreciate the commitment each of you make to the club and to your teams”

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Hardy Bay Senior Citizens’ new greenhouse

“if it wasn’t for the volunteers this project wouldn’t have happened”

Port Hardy Pride Day will arrive in September

Port Hardy will be celebrating Pride Day on Sept. 14 at Carrot Park.

Woss man attacked by black bear on remote logging road

“we are just monitoring the situation now”

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

Most Read