The Health Accord is an agreement between the federal government, provinces, and territories which provides funding and standards for healthcare services.
Chair of the local Hospital Employees Union Sarah Thom says this translates into $36 billion lost over 10 years – $5 billion directly in B.C.
“We believe that our tax dollars should be put back into healthcare, and support our staff, and our residents, and our seniors,” says Thom, who is also a care-aid and the Peace Villa.
Thom says the affects of healthcare cuts can be felt by both the employees and patients.
“Our workload is tremendous,” says Thom. “We are the highest rate of back injuries [and] we’re off on mental disabilities because the workload is so tremendous.”
Thom adds, “We have cutbacks in our laundry already and our housekeeping – that’s our mainline of infection control.“
If the Health Accord is not renewed, federal healthcare funding will fall to 18 per cent from its original 50 per cent share, according to the Canadian Health Coalition.
Some locals in attendance during the rally include community members, SONS, BCGU, BCNU and HEU.