Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

MLAs Corner: Let’s address gaps in health care

I have heard too many heartbreaking stories of families who have gotten lost in the system

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put a strain on our health care system. Some of our hospitals are at capacity, our health care workers are exhausted, and even our medical testing companies like LifeLabs are dealing with staffing shortages that have led to closures and cancelled appointments.

But COVID-19 is not the sole reason for all these growing issues — in some ways the pandemic has been a magnifying glass, revealing existing problems and cracks in the system, many of which the NDP promised to address and simply hasn’t.

Take family doctors for example. A growing number of British Columbians are unattached to primary care providers like family doctors and nurse practitioners. This is particularly an issue in rural B.C. where we have less access to medical care in general.

The NDP campaigned on a promise to help more British Columbians get a primary care provider, but after four years in power, the number of people who don’t have a family doctor has risen from 700,000 to more than 800,000 people. The NDP has not just failed to improve the situation, they’ve watched as it has gotten worse.

Family doctors are important because they play an invaluable role in helping people navigate through the system, ensuring they don’t fall through the cracks — which is unfortunately all too common.

I have heard too many heartbreaking stories of families who have gotten lost in the system — who have not been able to get the support they need, whether it’s for their own health or that of their children. Many constituents have told me how long waitlists and a lack of resources in rural areas are impacting their access to care.

All British Columbians, whether they live in the centre of Vancouver or right here in the Cariboo, deserve health care that meets their needs, and it’s why I am working to do everything I can to ensure this is the case.

But it’s time for government to take real steps to address the gaps in the system, so no one else falls through.

Read More: Lots to be thankful for

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Williams Lake