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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta District The Lethbridge Herald Local news Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, December Pages 13-20 'Idealpatient care9 available at centre PASS CENTRE PROVIDING IDEAL HEALTH CARE' BUT AT A DEFICIT Pass centre is in red By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer BLAIRMORE The provincial government has been asked to bail out an ex- perimental health project here which could end the year costing 'Pass taxpayers more than The project, an active treat- ment hospital nursing home- senior citizens' lodge com- plex, will likely end the year with a total deficit of more than Because of government agreements the Alberta Hospital Services Commis- sion will pick up the deficit of the hospital and nursing home. However, the senior citizens' lodge falls under other regulations that say any deficit must be paid through municipal requisition. Louis Protti, assistant to the commissioner of hospitals for Alberta, said Friday the government is looking at pay- ing the senior lodge deficit DECISION PENDING Ernie Luini, complex ad- ministrator, said a decision by the government on payment of the lodge's impending deficit must be made before Jan. 31 or taxpayers will be shouldered with the debt. The government, through the semi-autonomous hospitals' commission, has been asked to pay the deficit and develop a new financing arrangement for the one-year- old project The centre's board and ad- ministration have told the commission the large lodge deficit has been partially caused by the nature of the un- ique combination The possible payment of the debt is becoming a conten- tious issue through the 'Pass and town officials contacted by The Herald refused to dis- cuss the situation. The requisition would affect the taxpayers living in the area from Burmis, about 10 miles east of Blairmore, to the B.C boundary. Deficits by senior citizens' lodges are becoming more common in Alberta because of increasing costs, but the 'Pass deficit has been termed "incredible." AVERAGE DEFICIT Don Le Baron, ad- ministrator of the three lodges in Lethbridge, said the average deficit for a 50- bed home is The 'Pass facility has 36 senior citizens' beds. Mr. Luini said medical care, normally provided in a nursing home or hospital, is available to senior citizens in the lodge and this contributes to the deficit. The government has based its financing regulations on traditional separate facilities whereas the 'Pass Medical Centre is a single complex It is the first of its type in Alber- ta Further confusion enters the picture because the AHSC is responsible for the hospital and nursing home but the Alberta Housing Corporation is responsible for senior citizens' housing. The complex's board has approached the government to revamp its financing system for the upcoming year as well as pay off this year's deficit EXAMPLE CITED An example of the centre's unique situation was shown the commission in a brief presented by the board to the government in October. "Senior citizens are ad- mitted as bona fide senior citizens, however, in a very short period this resident can and often does become a nurs- ing home care the board said In traditional operations the lodge would transfer the patient to a hospital or nurs- ing home for intensive medical care. in the 'Pass Medical Centre these people can still be cared for in their senior citizens' room without need of transfer. "In a health care concept such as this it is necessary that financing be of a flexible nature as it is unreasonable to have unified concept of health care financed by pigeon-hole type the board told the government. 'SHOULD CHANGE' Mr Luini told The Herald officials of the centre and board feel the government financing should be based on levels of care and not types of facilities in which a person is living The board requests, in its brief, that the government, through AHSC, take one of three directions, including buying the lodge mortgage from Alberta Housing and financing the lodge as it does other portions of the building. Another recommendation is the government reclassify patients regularly and pay subsidies where nursing home patients are resident in senior accommodation. The third suggestion is that mentioned by Mr. Luini: 'Financing should not be grouped into classification of active hospital, auxiliary hospital, nursing home or senior citizens but by levels of care "These levels of care may be determined by type of care to each patient and not by location in the complex." The AHSC has been aware of the brief's suggestions since October but has not yet made any firm decisions. Mr. Protti, said in a telephone interview, the arrangements with the com- plex are an internal matter and not for public viewing. The commission has "done considerable work" on the situation during the past three Commentary: 6A n eyesore an oversight' County buys dump twice BY RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer NOBLEFORD Adell and Louis Mate are the not so proud owners of half of the Scabby Butte Garbage Dump. "It's an ad- mit the Mates, who have inadvertently bought five littered acres of the nine-acre dump one mile south of Keho Lake. But for the County of Lethbridge, about to buy the Mate's chunk of dump for the second time in three years, the Scabby Butte Dump is an embarrassing "over- sight That's how city lawyer Phil North, who handles the county's legal work, describes how the county paid for, but failed to legally buy 4 9 acres of land from Arthur Decook in 1972. As the county used its newly acquired land to expand its dump in the southwest corner of Mr. Decook's quarter sec- tion farm, legal title remained with the now retired farmer. The five acre plot cost the county but it was never legally transferred to the coun- ty. But this spring, the Mates bought Mr. Decook's farm, north of Nobleford. With it, they purchased five acres of garbage. "It's not our explains Mr. Mate, who says he has no desire to own half of Scabby Butte Dump The Mates realized they had become dump owners when the county's tax notice claimed their 151-acre farm was real- ly 156 acres. The novelty of owning one of Southern Alber- ta's most visible dumps "You can see it for attests Mrs. Mate has worn thin. "What can I do with, queries her husband, except protest to the county that "wind blows garbage out into the field." "I went to the county five or six times to com- about garbage blowing off the Butte and fouling farm equipment. "But everyone was too busy to talk to says Mr. Mate. "There's no fence on the north side of the dump. I want a proper fence." As much as Mr. Mate wants to get Out of the business of owning dumps, the Scabby Butte Dump has one redeeming value: "We're not selling the land to the county until they build a proper fence." months but a decision on financing has not been fully reached, he said. Mr. Protti said he was "not in a position to say what par- tial decision has been reached." Mr. Luini said a decision "better come quickly" or the requisition will have to be made. BLAIRMORE Despite a high operating deficit in a portion of an experimental health project here officials say the project is work- ing "ideally." The experiment is the 'Pass Medical Centre, a complex of three health facilities a nursing home, senior citizens lodge and ac- tive treatment hospital under one roof. Ernie Luini, complex administrator, said the project is working well despite deficits, and is actually showing a savings to the province in health care. The complex is the first of its type in Alberta and could be the model for other facilities, including one being requested for Taber. "So far as the patients are concerned this (facility) is ideal, but financially it is Mr. Luini said. The complex, which has to arrange three budgets, is currently running a deficit on the hospital, on the nursing home and on the lodge. The nursing home and hospital deficits are normal in modern facilities but the lodge deficit is extremely high. If the government changes the financing arrangement to avoid a lodge deficit, the facility will be an "excellent" integrated health care complex, Mr. Luini said. He is backed in his praise of the complex by the medical chief of staff, Victor Martinez and director of nursing, Rina Rinaldi. The Alberta Medical Association has voiced approval of the concept and 'Pass residents have donated to its success. Dr. Martinez said the staff can provide better care to the people in the 'Pass facility than they would get in individual institutions "Nurses and physicians are available at all times to the people Dr. Martinez said. "And the people from the nursing home or lodge can use facilities of the hospital by just walking down the corridor The physicians can get to a patient in any part of the building quickly and nursing home patients get more attention than they would if the home were separate, he said All the physicians working in the complex like the idea because it increases patient care and they don't have to waste time travelling between facilities, he added Mr. Luini said the centre as a whole is costing the province less than if the three operations were in separate buildings The centre is just west of Blairmore. flank- ed by the Rocky Mountains and overlooking the Crowsnest River Valley. The 60-bed hospital on the site was built m 1949, then last year the unique pilot project was established by adding to the hospital the other facilities. The board of the centre, in reviewing the year old operation, said in a report to the government the complex is "functioning ex- ceptionally well" and that future bed needs should be incorporated with the centre "A considerable saving in general and nursing administration costs is evident as a result of combining the various facilities un- der one the board said Miss Rinaldi told The Herald the centre has saved in the number of nurses needed and work they must perform She said if one-area is overloaded it can get nurses from another part of the centre to help. The nurses keep time cards for the various places they work in the building and pay is included in expenditures for eacn 'facility. The centre has been under close scrutiny by the Alberta Hospital Services Commission during recent months but a commission of- ficial told The Herald it is "to early to evaluate the project's success Did the Oxfam fast salve your conscience? By ANDY OGLE Herald staff writer My belly is empty as I write this and it's letting me know. Like many other Western Canadians I fasted, or at least skipped a meal Thursday Oxfam's International Awareness Day The money we didn't spend to feed ourselves will buy sur- plus eggs being donated at 35 cents a dozen by Alberta egg producers. The eggs will be powdered at Highland Produce Co. Ltd. in Two Hills, Alberta and shipped to the eastern Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal. Oxfam, the people who brought you the Miles for Millions walkathons, will dis- tribute the egg powder primarily to children through thrir medical facilities in In- dia Oxfam hoped to raise 000 Thursday for the project, and presumably raise some consciousness in people who as a group over-eat and are overweight. It raised from the Lethbridge area, Walter Schmid, Oxfam Lethbridge chairman said. Even as I was trying not to think about food, I recognized that fasting a few days before the gastronomic orgy of Christmas is just a gesture a bleeding heart gesture to salve a guilty conscience some would say. "What real they ask, "will it do'" Prolong the agony of an over-populated corner of the world7 Even a sustained cutback in American eating habits, ac- cording to a recent Time Magazine article, would not automatically put grain on the table in hungry Third World countries. Fasting is of little use, un- less money saved is sent to relief agencies such as Ox- fam, or surpluses created somehow get to the hungry In the meantime there's no shortage of information about what's happening. We're bom- barded with photographic and word pictures of the hungry, the starving, the dying and the dead. James Rusk, a Toronto Globe and Mail correspondent visiting a Salvation Army relief camp near Dacca in Bangladesh writes that life in the camp "consists mostly of lining up for food, for the clinic, for a new ration card to replace one lost, stolen or strayed or waiting waiting to line up, waiting for dark so sleep can be found, waiting, ultimately for death "An early morning tour of the camp with the major is depressing. "That child there, he won't she says pointing to a small child with a distended stomach, which she says is a swollen liver. Today the rounds were easy. There were no dead to take out. Often, there are two, three or more. "You find them still in the squatting position They've died during the night and haven't even fallen over" (The common position for most waiting Bengalis is One of the most disturbing articles I've read recently was written by a New York surgeon, Richard Selzer, in Harper's magazine. He set out simply to describe the medical effects of starving on the human body, and began his article this way: "If I am hungry truly starving I can tell you how I feel, but you will never under- stand. Not unless you are starving too Hunger cannot be described by its victims; the feeling is beyond words The body, Dr. Selzer ex- plains, has a remarkable capacity to survive long periods without food, essen- tially by feeding on itself. The brain must have glucose, the principle source of energy, and to get it, pro- tein is first sucked from body tissue cells, Dr. Selzer writes In the early stages, most weight loss is due to water loss; as starvation proceeds, more and more of the weight loss is due to the consumption by the body of its own fat "One marvels at the tactics of the body to evade its destruction. The basal metabolic rate, that is, the speed at which all functions of the body, gross or microscopic, are carried out, slows down. "The starving person is less active, requires fewer calories. Speech is reduced to an infrequent mutter that one must strain to hear. LOUIS MATE SURVEYS HIS NEW FARM WHICH INCLUDES A COUNTY DUMP "Eventually there is no ac- tivity that is not directly connected to the gathering and ingestion of food The child, enteung a period of starvation, stops growing, or growth is a lux- ury, demanding reckless amounts of energy Nor is this lost growth retrievable Even after his nutrition has been restored the once-starved child regains short if not tru- ly stunted If the depriva- tion takes place during the first year of life, the effect is even more terrible, for during that first year the brain is still in a stage of development Without energy to grow, the brain is dwarfed there is a stunting of the intellect as well As Dr Selzer says, what can the sated know of starvation9 In our society not to eat is to suffer a social as well as physical loss, we have ritualized eating to such an extent Take a spin down Mayor Magrath Drive past Hy s. Steak House, Kentucky Fried Chicken, The Dairy Queen, A and W. Golden Bridge Restaurant. Asia Garden, the Burger Baron, and try not to stop and sup if you are hungry Still, says the Time article, fasting is catching on among Americans of many faiths. and can have personal meaning. In one program, at the end of a 30-hour fast, participants are served a meal, but a third of the group gets traditional meat and potatoes, another third gets a single glass of corn-soya milk, a typical aid- program food and the last third gets a bowl of rice. The effect is unsettling, the article reports, but in the end the meat and potatoes are usually shared As for my own fast well I went without breakfast and I skipped lunch, but sapperjtime came and my resolve caved in, or more precisely I con- vinced myself I'd made my token gesture and could resume the feast. Somehow it's hard to think of it all as real I Donations still taken Oxfam contributions are still being accepted by the Lethbridge committee, ac- cording to chairman Walter Smith. He suggested that anyone wishing to contribute may mail a cheque to box 12000, Lethbridge ;