Opinion: Investment spree

As many of you may know, Anbang, a humongous foreign investment firm, wants to buy into our health care system.

As many of you may know, Anbang, a humongous foreign investment firm, wants to buy into our health care system. It has $1 billion to invest in one of BC’s biggest retirement home chains.

What has that to do with us? Well, the chain is Retirement Concepts, the group that runs our Senior’s Village. RC, an important part of B.C.’s health-care delivery system, is reportedly the highest-billing provider of assisted living and residential care services in the province, receiving some $86.5 million in public funds in the 2015/16 fiscal year.

Does it matter who owns these facilities as long as the clients get good care? It shouldn’t, but the Office of the Senior’s Advocate reported that in 2014/15, the majority of the 292 government-funded long-term seniors care homes in B.C. had staffing deficiencies, serious incident reports, and/or other quality of life issues. Most of the facilities who didn’t meet ministry standards were operated by private interests, not health authorities or non-profit groups. Anbang, which is said to be on an “investment spree” in North America, is a newcomer to health care, but Retirement Concepts is expected to stay involved with the operations. The takeover requires federal government scrutiny and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains will make the decision. Anbang is a Chinese corporation, and given our Prime Minister’s lust for Chinese investment, this is likely a go. The province could stop it but that’s not likely. Although some of us, seniors and otherwise, feel we would be better served if health care services were run by health authorities, not private interests, the Clark government apparently feels otherwise. The 70 new residential care beds slated for Williams Lake could have been added to Deni House instead of going to private tender. Maybe the issue isn’t who owns services, but the lack of adequate oversight on the part of governments, be it health, environment, resource extraction, whatever.

***

The matter of deer wandering about the city has been on the public agenda lately. The other evening I spotted a large doe hiking down the sidewalk on North 4th Avenue, apparently heading for 7/11. I don’t know if she got there.

Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

 

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

Just Posted

Jury trial underway regarding March 2019 shooting in Williams Lake

A B.C. Supreme Court jury will determine the fate of a woman… Continue reading

Upwards of 200 people take part in first 150 Mile Elementary Family Ice Fishing Derby

“The public support was more than we could have imagined,” she said.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Busy end of the week for the lakecity

The Chilcotin Road’s 9th Annual Ladies Night is this Friday along with a handful of concerts

Mother Sun performing live at arts centre Friday night

A psychedelic sound fresh from Kamloops will make its lakecity debut on Friday, Feb. 21

UPDATE: One dead after multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on Highway 97

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read