Angel Elias, executive director of the Mission Hospice Society, says Fraser Health is trying to take over half the beds at Christine Morrison Hospice. She has started a petition to try and prevent that from happening. / File Photo

Angel Elias, executive director of the Mission Hospice Society, says Fraser Health is trying to take over half the beds at Christine Morrison Hospice. She has started a petition to try and prevent that from happening. / File Photo

UPDATE: Fraser Health will not occupy beds at Mission’s Christine Morrison Hospice at this time

Angel Elias, executive director of Mission Hospice Society, says the ‘fight is not over’

UPDATE: Fraser Health has said all the hospice beds at Mission Memorial Hospital will continue to serve palliative patients.

In a Dec. 18 email, the health authority said they routinely review their capacity to meet the needs of their communities, which includes seeing where there are under-utilized beds.

“We are managing our hospital capacity at this time and have the ability to increase our capacity as needed,” the email said. “We look at our bed capacity from a regional perspective to ensure that we utilize existing capacity across all of our hospitals to place patients in the most appropriate setting to meet their needs.”

Meanwhile, Elias’ petition has gained over 2,700 signatures. She has said via social media that Fraser Health reversed the decision because of the community’s pressure, but she suspects the “fight is not over.”

Fraser Health is planning to take over half the beds at Christine Morrison Hospice over the objections of the Mission Hospice Society’s (MHS) executive director.

Angel Elias of MHS said she was informed yesterday morning (Dec. 17) that a wing of their 10-bed unit would have to be temporarily closed and occupied by medical patients, due to COVID-19 causing bed shortages around the health authority.

She said she was given no timeline and fears the occupation will be permanent, claiming Fraser Health has been trying to take their beds for years and is now using COVID-19 as a pretext.

“Once they start putting medical patients there, they will never go away,” Elias said. “They’ve slowly stripped everything from our hospital, and now this is one more layer that they’re stripping.”

The Christine Morrison Hospice is located on the third floor of Mission Memorial Hospital (MMH), and has largely been funded by the community for the last 15 years. Initially $100,000 was raised to open the facility in 2005, and at least $60,000 has been raised annually ever since, Elias said. The MHS took over funding in 2016.

While the hospice does have six vacant beds, that could change at any time, and mixing end-of-life patients and medical patients is against their mandate because they are completely different types of care, Elias said.

“Hospice care is compassionate, it’s soothing, it’s caring, it’s loving, it’s a different ambiance – everything. Now that’s all going to go away,” Elias said. “This is not medical care.”

She said hospice patients can have two family members visit a day, while medical patients currently can have none.

Elias said she’s seen other units in Fraser Health with open beds, and those should be occupied instead of the hospice beds. She claims the reason why the hospice has low occupancy is Fraser Health has been restricting patient access, and diverting patients away to other facilities.

“They’re keeping our occupancy low – they control access to our hospice,” she said. “I get phone calls three or four times a year from people pissed off they can’t get their loved ones into Christine Morrison Hospice.”

She said Fraser Health told her that other hospices will be losing beds to medical patients as well. When asked what would happen if an end-of-life patient came in and the beds were all full, Fraser Health said the medical patients would be moved, according to Elias.

“If you could move that patient to an open bed, why wouldn’t you just put them there to begin with?”

Elias started an online petition to prevent Fraser Health from taking their beds; it has gained nearly 1,200 signatures in under 24 hours.

The Mission Record has reached out to Fraser Health and is waiting on a response.


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Fraser HealthMission

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

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

Kassandra Clack of Abbotsford has been named one of 18 finalists in the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search, taking place in June.
Fraser Valley country singer Kassandra Clack a finalist in national talent search

18 finalists vie to win Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search in June

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read