B.C. Greens call for increased support for families of children with complex care needs

May 19, 2023

VANCOUVER B.C. – ​​Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, B.C. Green Party deputy leader, released the following statement today calling for increased support for families of children with complex care needs.

“Caring for a medically-complex child is a full-time responsibility, which far exceeds that of caring for a well child. Families of these kids are running mini intensive care units in their homes, with ventilators, oxygen, IV and subcutaneous infusions, feeding tubes and pumps, suction machines, and potent prescription medications.

“Nursing Support Services (NSS) is a system of home care support that is a vital resource for children with medically complex, often life-limiting, conditions. These supports have eroded for both children and their caregivers.

“NSS Principles & Philosophy of Care states to ‘promote child/family participation in their home and community’, and ‘believes in a child/family’s right to self-determination and choice’. Families are not experiencing this philosophy in real-time.

“Many children with complex care needs are assessed to require 56 or more hours of home nursing care per week, but most families have only been receiving a small fraction of the allocated hours. Now, the specific timing of those hours is further being severely restricted. This is having a profound impact on the ability of families to thrive. The negative consequences are numerous and include financial hardship, due to lost work hours, mental illness, marital stress, and neglect of siblings.

“Providing adequate support for these children and families is not only essential for those affected, but provides preventative care, avoiding inpatient hospitalization, which further drains resources, is expensive, and worsens outcomes. Expansion, not reduction, of NSS for medically complex children must be a priority of any government in B.C.”

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