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Delta's Irene Thomas Hospice reopening after Fraser Health takeover, upgrades

Irene Thomas Hospice (CityNews)
Summary

The Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta is reopening Thursday

The hospice was temporarily closed for upgrades after the Fraser Health took over control of the facility

Health authority took over after Delta Hospital Society refused to provide medical assistance in dying

DELTA (NEWS 1130) – The Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta is reopening Thursday after closing for upgrades last month when it was taken over by Fraser Health.

All 10 beds at the hospice will provide care after upgrades and repairs were made to the building.

The health authority took possession of the end-of-life care facility after the Delta Hospital Society (DHS) refused to provide medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

“People have the right to access hospice services if and when they need them, which is why we are so committed to ensuring these services remain available in Delta and in all communities across
our province,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

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The site provides patients and their families with access to 24-hour end-of-life care in a home-like environment. In addition to the palliative physician and nursing support on-site, the hospice also provides patients with access to social workers and pharmacy services.

In 2019, B.C.’s Ministry of Health said it would withdraw $1.5 million in annual funding because DHS wouldn’t comply with provincial policies on MAiD. Angelina Ireland, board president of the provincially-funded society, has maintained that providing a medically assisted death goes against the principles of Christianity.

However, other members of the community argued the important end-of-life service is legal in Canada and should be offered to patients who want it. Dix previously said access to hospice services is fundamental.

With files from The Canadian Press