Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

MLAS CORNER: NDP action needed to address health care crisis

This is a real problem and one that starts at the top

Our health-care system is in crisis. In every corner of this province, we are seeing hospitals at capacity, burned-out health-care workers, staffing shortages, a lack of family doctors, and increasing wait times. We are facing real challenges, and while they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are not entirely the result of it. Many have been present for years, without seeing needed action from government.

The challenges in our health-care system are magnified in rural B.C., where access to medical care is already limited. This problem hits home for us in Williams Lake, especially as we hear more about growing issues at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

It’s come to light that long-time staff are resigning as a result of conditions that are unfortunately becoming too common in B.C. hospitals. Many of these committed staff have begun speaking out, despite NDP gag orders, about being pushed to make decisions without consideration of patient care, and about the toxic work environment, bullying and worker intimidation.

This is a real problem and one that starts at the top. Last week, I had the opportunity to ask the Health Minister what he was doing to specifically address the issues facing Cariboo Memorial Hospital. His response was to say he is “always concerned when doctors express concern about issues in the system.”

Everyone, including the Minister, knows that concern and action are two very different things.

What the residents of Cariboo-Chilcotin need is action, and we need it right now. We deserve to have confidence that quality medical care is available to us, and that hard-working health care staff are being encouraged to prioritize patient care. We deserve to know that our government is making the right investments in our system and acting to ensure the health and safety of all British Columbians. Unfortunately, until government steps up and takes real action, we cannot have that confidence.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cariboo