Jim Albo and friends Susan Trousdale

Jim Albo and friends Susan Trousdale

Man pickets at hospital, remembers parents

It has been five years since the death of a Rossland man’s parents but he is intent on reminding people what happened and to serve notice to Interior Health that he is not going away.

Jim Albo once again took up a placard with around 25 others at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital Friday to publicly admonish and remind the IHA of the procedural nightmare that resulted in his mother and father’s death.

“My intention is to stay as long as I have to, to let them know I haven’t forgotten what’s taken place,” said Albo. “The treatment of seniors, the lack of long-term care beds, is just not satisfactory.”

Albo’s parents were in the Trail hospital when they were separated and his mom sent to a long-term care facility in Grand Forks against their wishes — and without being seen by a doctor. She died two days later and his father passed away 10 days after that.

Albo attributes much of health care’s demise to the growing number of administrators and what he deems as exorbitant salaries.

“Look what they could have done with that money, they could have gotten four full-time nurses or bought a new ultrasound machine for Castlegar.”

Friend and fellow protester Bud Godderis pointed to the recent cutting of the palliative-care social worker.

“We had this amazing palliative-care worker and they couldn’t pay her salary. That basically destroyed our hospice movement, it’s such a huge loss.”

Seniors also picketed alongside with signs reading, “Human life is more important than budgets and cutbacks.”

Albo hoped changes had been made to IHA policy, but about two weeks ago, a Fruitvale woman’s elderly mother and father were almost separated from a seniors’ residence, after the 91-year-old man became ill and required a long-term care bed. It was only after calling MP Katrine Conroy that a long-term care bed was found in the same care facility.

“People need to be aware of what these people are doing,” said Albo. “Since IHA took over this hospital, health care in our area has dropped dramatically. Certainly the people on the frontlines, the doctors and nurses, are doing the best job they can but we have a tyrannical regime right here and its face is IHA.”

Albo vows to keep coming until there are changes for the better.