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Veterans claim victory at Ste. Anne’s Hospital, continue fight for better health care in Quebec

Post WWII veterans gain access to Ste. Anne’s Hospital
WATCH: Ste. Anne’s Hospital in the West Island, has opened up more beds for veterans. The move will allow those who served after the Second World War to receive care and services at the hospital. Global's Kwabena Oduro explains

There’s good news for veterans who, until now, have been denied access to Ste. Anne’s Hospital.

A leader in the fight for better care for veterans, Wolf Solkin recently shared this victory on his Facebook page.

“There was an entente arrived at between the federal and provincial government to permit eligible long term care to those categories,” wrote Wolf Solkin, a Second World War veteran and the acting president of the Veteran’s Committee at Ste. Anne’s Hospital.

The categories Solkin refers to include post-Second World War vets who did not serve overseas, as well as vets who served with the allied forces, peacekeepers, those who participated in Cold War deployments and also fought in Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Veteran complains care at Ste. Anne hospital still not adequate

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“It took considerable effort from vets and cooperation between federal and provincial authorities but this news means vets barred from this special service will soon be able to benefit from it,” Solkin said.

Thanks to the new agreement, Solkin says there has already been a change in admissions at the hospital.

“Even in the last few weeks, we have received several eligible veterans. The caveat is they must be eligible for admission under the provincial protocols and criteria for long-term care beds,” he said.

The CIUSSS de l’ouest de l’ile de Montréal, that oversees the hospital, told Global News that more beds are indeed being made available to vets.

“And we think this is a major improvement and a change we have been fighting for the last several years and it’s a very positive action,” said Solkin.

Solkin began fighting for better treatment for vets not long after the federal government transferred management of the veterans’ hospital to Quebec in 2016. After complaining about the province’s  standards of care, Solkin finally launched a class action lawsuit in February 2019.

“The judges that initially reviewed our situation recognize that we are dying here every day, which is natural at our age. We came here to die, not to live, but to die with dignity, with care, with respect — which I maintain we’re not getting,” he said.

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READ MORE: Quebec Superior Court judge authorizes veteran’s class action lawsuit over deteriorating care at Ste-Anne’s Hospital

In a statement, the health care agency told Global News they will not comment on the allegations raised by Solkin concerning the class action lawsuit because a judicial process is currently underway.

“We reiterate that providing our veterans and residents with the care and services to which they are entitled is always at the forefront of our priorities,” the agency said.

The court date for the class action law suit has been set for November 2020.

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