Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Family claims veteran received inadequate care at Ste. Anne’s Hospital

The family of a recently deceased veteran is asking the Quebec government to honour its promise to uphold the same level of care at Ste. Anne’s Hospital that existed before the facility was handed over to the province in April 2016.

The claims come two weeks after another veteran living at Ste. Anne’s Hospital requested to file a class-action lawsuit against the federal and provincial governments, claiming they had failed to provide an adequate level of care at the facility.

“I guess that I’m glad that he’s not suffering anymore,” said Barb Ekins Colpitts, whose father, Fred Ekins, lived at Ste. Anne’s until his death, just two weeks before Remembrance Day. Ekins was 98.

The Second World War veteran spent six years overseas fighting with the Canadian Air Force. His family says they agreed to place him in a nursing home after his wife passed away 15 months ago, only because they were assured he would receive top-notch care.

“We put my father there (at Ste. Anne’s Hospital) begrudgingly,” said Ekins Colpitts. “We were promised that he was going to be well taken care of with dignity, respect, the language of his choice — none of that happened.”

Ekins’ family says they have collected a binder of alleged incidents, and they claim Ste. Anne’s failed to act despite numerous complaints to the hospital staff and ombudsman.

Fred Ekins, a veteran who served in the Second World War. Ekins’ family alleges that Ste. Anne’s Hospital failed to provide quality care to him while he was there.

“(Patients are) not getting the personal care that they need, which is ending up in injuries, illness — illness that isn’t being recognized until the family pleads,” said Brenda Ekins Matthew, another of Ekins’ daughters.

Global News has reached out to Ste. Anne’s Hospital for comment but has not yet heard back.

Ekins’ daughters are planning to join a $30-million class-action lawsuit that another veteran is attempting to launch against both the federal and provincial governments over the deterioration of care since the institution was transferred under provincial jurisdiction.

Lawyers are hoping the courts will consider it an urgent case and respond accordingly.

“The average age of our class members in 93 years old,” attorney Laurent Kanemy told Global News earlier this month.

“They’re all World War II and Korean veterans, and the unfortunate reality as this goes on is they are dying off, unfortunately.”

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