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New Fraser Health fee charging wheelchair users ‘a major indignity:’ MLA

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington is asking Fraser Health to reconsider a new monthly fee that charges wheelchair-bound residents at a long-term care facility.

Last month, Fraser Health issued a letter to residents at Mountain View Manor that said wheelchair-bound residents will be charged a monthly fee of $25 for “borrowing” a wheelchair.

Huntington said in a release the fee targets Delta’s most vulnerable citizens amid rising costs of health care.

“The latest decision by Fraser Health, to charge a $25 monthly fee for wheelchairs and wheelchair cushions has me speechless. It’s as if Fraser Health feels immobilizing the elderly to their beds is acceptable, while basic mobility rights are an elective service of our healthcare system.”

The new fee will come into effect in September. Residents who cannot afford the new fee are being told to meet with a social worker.

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Huntington said the fee is a major indignity and stress on the lives of the elderly.

“We should not be telling our elders that basic mobility is a privilege they must pay for. In my opinion it’s a human right. They deserve so much more,” Huntington said.

Huntington is asking Fraser Health to reconsider the fee and is open to discussing alternative ways to raise the money.