Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

MLA’s CORNER: Health care crisis continues without NDP action

One day when the hospital was only 60 per cent staffed while it was at 175 per cent capacity

Part of my role as an MLA includes the opportunity to stand in the Legislature and directly ask questions of our government. This is something I have done numerous times in the last few weeks, particularly to ask about issues impacting our community here in the Cariboo.

One of the most pressing issues I’ve asked about is the state of health care, especially in rural B.C. Our system is in crisis — and it’s a life and death situation. We are seeing chronic shortages of nurses, doctors, paramedics, and other health care workers in every corner of the province, and immediate significant intervention from our NDP government is long overdue.

People should be able to have confidence that if they need urgent medical care, they will have access to it, and in a timely manner. But in far too many places around the province that is not the case. Just in the last few weeks we heard about a 14-year-old in our community who went into cardiac arrest and had to wait two hours for an ambulance to arrive. It’s an unbelievable amount of time to wait in such a serious situation, especially given the fact that there was an unstaffed ambulance just half an hour away.

We continue to see hours long waits in the emergency department of Cariboo Memorial Hospital, and last month I heard of a day when the hospital was only 60 per cent staffed while it was at 175 per cent capacity.

This is unacceptable. It’s not fair for our dedicated and exhausted health care workers who are being pushed to the point of burnout, working double shifts, and doing the jobs of multiple people, and it’s not fair for patients who deserve to know they are getting the best possible care. It’s time for the NDP to step up and immediately address this worsening health care crisis, for the sake of all British Columbians.


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