Luckily, that was only egg on the face of Health Minister Adrian Dix as the NDP government announced it would be sending BC cancer patients to the US for treatment.
Because if Dix was suffering anything more serious than embarrassment and humiliation … he might have had to endure those Emergency Room long, long waits or temporary total closures many other British Columbians regularly do … or he might even have found it impossible to find a regular family doctor to treat him.
Health care in BC is in a mess … and what could be more an admission of FAILURE than an NDP government sending up to 10,000 BC cancer patients, in a bid to save their lives to two Washington State Health Care Centres … including one that is private FOR-PROFIT facility
In February, the government acknowledged how serious the shortfall in cancer care in BC had become, announcing a 10-year plan “to better prevent, detect, and treat cancers now and in the future”, the Vancouver Sun reported.
“The plan says it will put more money into research, technology, and innovation. It is also adding new cancer centres — work is underway for new cancer centres in Burnaby and Surrey. It is also adding new diagnostic equipment and hiring new physicians and clinical support staff.”
Clearly too little, too late!
The NDP has been in power in BC, in its latest manifestation, since July 2017: they knew and they saw the province’s population was burgeoning; they knew and they saw the baby boomers were all ageing; they knew and they saw the number of cancer cases/patients was rising exponentially.
The previous Liberal government was warned: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-was-warned-a-decade-ago-to-prepare-for-cancer-case-influx-former-b-c-cancer-head.
John Horgan’s new NDP government was well aware early on what BC was facing, yet the NDP waited until just weeks ago, in February, to announce a 10-year plan to substantially improve cancer detection/treatment/care.
By the time that begins showing results, many of those now stricken with cancer will be dead. Just think how many could have been saved if the Liberal government had acted when it was warned or the NDP government made it a priority after taking office!
Instead, now we have seen what must be the most embarrassing moment in the life of the current NDP government: announcing it will spend $78 million over the next two years to buy cancer care treatments in the US for British Columbians.
According to the Vancouver Sun, at TRIPLE the cost of providing treatment here: “$12,277 for a patient receiving five fractions of radiation therapy compared to $3,854 here in B.C., according to the Health Ministry.”
Add to that: travel and hotel costs, which BC taxpayers will also pick up … and just imagine the added stress of distant travel, dealing with the border etc.
However, the current BC government is not alone in sending patients out of province for health care: the Liberals reportedly sent many needing health care to Alberta and the US as well; and other Canadian provinces have also sent patients out of province and/or to the US for care.
Let’s keep it real: Canada’ ‘s public health care system, set up in the 1960s, simply can no longer handle on its own our growing population and rapidly ageing patient load, requiring increasingly complex and costly treatments.
The system needs help … but paying American for-profit hospitals huge prices to provide it is not a good solution.
Just think of the hundreds of millions of dollars various federal and provincial governments have spent on lawyers and Courts fighting against private health care services … and how many people could have been treated … or even saved … if that money had gone into health care!
The federal government and the provinces have to rethink their opposition to having private for-profit health care centres in this country relieve some of the public burden, by doing publicly-paid for cancer treatments, MRIs etc. and even minor surgeries.
As part of our health care system … not in competition to it.
It will be decades before the public system alone will be able to catch up to demand … if ever.
Having private facilities provide public health services in Canada, paid for under the Medical Services Plan, would cost less than sending so many to the US.
And would be a much better solution that just telling so many they will have to suffer for many more months, or years before getting treatment … or die, waiting their turn.
(Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new topics posted and up for public discussion.)
And before anyone moves to Vancouver Island, even before you buy a home, get a doctor first. Right now it is a major “wait in line” for one. As a matter of fact, anyone moving to our Province, get a doctor first … good luck finding one.
And lets keep the cancer patients at home for treatment NDP, get more doctors and health workers …
The doctor/medical issue cancelled my plans to move to the Island. An acquaintance of mine who did move Just before Covid, still does not have a family physician and he has to come to the mainland to see his doctor.
It seems Horgan wasn’t the most sensitive guy with the medical issue and has left Eby with a growing platter of scandals.
Hello Chuck, get a doctor first, before moving to B.C. or Vancouver Island. Good luck with that. The “mover” most likely had problems obtaining a doctor elsewhere in Canada also. There is a shortage of doctors all across North America. As to getting more doctors and health workers. Lovely idea, but where do we plan on getting them. It takes at least 7 years to get a doctor through school. If they’re going to be a specialist, its going to take even longer.
Nurses, education takes anywhere from 2 years to 5 years and if you are going to be an O.R. or ICU nurse its even longer. The cost of obtaining the edcucation may be part of the reason people may not be that keen.
Every government, including my favorite, has contributed to the problem. None of them thought we’d ever have something like COVID. All governments avoided thinking about aging baby boomers leaving the work force together. In B.C. the first order of business was building more schools, especially in Surrey. To have taken on building more hospitals, etc. would have cost more money. That would have required more taxes and we all know how people enjoy more taxes and then how that can cause a political party to be voted out of office.
(Response: Thanks. What a great website! Good info … a bit scary, and hard proof of how bad some things are in BC! h.o)
My story. My family doctor suggested that I try an allergist to see if that would better my situation. I went to one and he recommended shots for a year. Of course, I bought into it as I hoped that would help me. Little did I know what it would mean for me down the road.
I brought the serum to my family doctor (at a cost of over $600, that I paid myself and not the government), who after recommending the shots, now told me that she wouldn’t administer them to me and that I could go to a walk-in clinic instead for them.
After going to the walk-in (and standing in line on very cold Sunday mornings just to get a spot), a few times, I made an appointment with my family doctor over another situation. When I got to the family doctor, I was told that because I was seeing the walk-in clinic on a “regular” basis (not my fault but that of my family doctor’s) I was no longer on her caseload and basically, I had no longer a family doctor. However, she promised me that once I stopped “seeing” the walk-in doctor, I could perhaps be put back on the family doctor’s roster.
I wrote to my MLA and to the Minister of Health and the Opposition Part member who shadows the health department. None of them would do anything for me, whatsoever.
I have just finished a first year of the allergy shots with no “family” doctor at all. When recommended by the allergist that I go for a second set, I turned it down in the hopes I could return to my original doctor. What other choice do I have?
The medical system is screwed totally.
(Response: Moments after I posted this latest blog, I heard from someone I know that needs back surgery for a situation the doctor described as “severe”: expected wait … two years! Just unacceptable. BC, the other provinces and the federal government MUST find a way to allow private clinics/hospitals to operate as part of our public health system!! h.o)
These are the first 3 words that come to mind when I describe the “Health Care ” in Canada.
From the Federal Liberal govts proud announcements to increase the population by 500,000 per year? 1,000,000 per year?
To the Provincial squabbling over Health Care scraps with the feds at the latest PR Premiers meeting.
Or the BC NDP suing the private clinics here in BC out of existence.
Disgusting, hypocritical, criminal.
One wonders if the latest announcement to send patients to the US for desperately needed cancer treatment was the result of a threatened class action lawsuit by some rich patients or perhaps…… recovering cancer patient ex Premier Horgan “saw the light”…..
Either way .
a revolting about face after hounding private clinics out of business and sending a clear message to any other doctors that a bit of free enterprise will be crushed.
A pox on them all.
(Response: Ideally, it would be great if our public health system could support everyone’s needs … or even close to it. But when people are told they will have to wait months or years in pain and debilitated, something has to change. I don’t want to see a separate system where the rich can go to private hospitals that have creamed off the best doctors/surgeons etc., which is a big concern of public health supporters. But surely, we can develop a system close to what I’ve heard they have in France, where anyone can access private hospital care under a publicly paid fee structure negotiated between the government and the private providers. That relieves pressures on public hospitals for treatments, including some surgeries etc. Why not? h.o)
I can be certain that Horgan didn’t have to wait 3, 6, 24 months for diagnosis and treatment.
Or any other connected politico.
THEY have nothing to worry about.
When Lucien Bouchard was diagnosed with flesh eating disease his treatment was immediate and life saving.
Most of my Quebecois amis said , “If it was anyone else in Quebec with the same problem…they would have died.”
There is a seething anger in the population as this gets worse and worse.
More housing for the homeless.
More money for “free” overdose kits!
The dregs of society that contribute nothing and suck the meat and fat off our tax dollar bones to less than zero as the National debt skyrockets to $1.3 trillion dollars.
User fees and taxes rise.
Qualified Dr’s and nurses leave to low tax and low fees USA.
The next federal election isnt until Oct 2025.
Lets see how much damage the feckless fools in power can do from now until then.
(Response: I can feel your anger and frustration … and I must say I hear exactly what you delineate from others more frequently now … when I talk to friends or meet people in my travels: governments have billions to spend, except on those who work/paybills/taxes. Plus lots of growing anger over the First Nations “acknowledgements” we hear/see so frequently …and handouts of millions that will simply disappear, while nothing improves. But nothing worries/angers/scares people more than watching government spend, spend, spend on “others” while not being able to see a doctor, get care for themselves or, worse, watching friends and family suffer while waiting for treatment. The BC NDP and federal Liberal governments are more vulnerable than they may realize! h.o)
The utter corruption and arrogance of the 1980’s Brian Mulroney govt and it’s eventual decimation at the polls comes to mind.
Perhaps Justin Trudeau will step down at the absolute 11th hour and let Chrystia Freeland be the “PM for a Day” like Kim Campbell?
When the rock bottom polls are staring them in the face and political donations have dried up.
An election cant come soon enough for the taxpayers and health care patients in this dismal excuse for a “democracy”.
A minority govt that is allowed to continue to over spend the population into penury year after year after year on their minority terms….not the majority (our) wishes.
Revolting, criminal and absolutely despicable.
These people should not be allowed to receive their govt pensions for what they have done to Canada’s future.
And the “media” soft peddle what ever the govt advertising cash cow….tells them.
(Response: I sense the vast majority of Canadians west of Quebec have tired of Trudeau … and when given a chance could just go for Poilievre, although not enthusiastically. The only Liberal replacement who could save the Liberals and have a chance of beating Poilievre would be …not Christa Freeland … but former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. h.o)
Harvey, agree with your opinion on Mark Carney as leader for the federal Liberals. He could win. Freeland couldn’t, but she is a great choice. So you go with who you can win with and that would be Carney.
People may be tired of Trudeau/Singh and decide to vote for PP but really, he isn’t going to be any better. He isn’t a Progressive Conservative and many in the Conservative party aren’t even Conservative but rather reactionaries who want less taxes, and may have more in common with the maga crowd. The current Conservatives don’t seem to be too interested in doing much but criticizing the other parties. Haven’t heard much about how he and their party plan to deal with some of the issues facing Canadians and that includes, afffordable housing for working families, better health care, how to educate more health care workers of all types, getting retired Canadians above the poverty line and providing adequate housing for them, etc.
(Response: Since I posted this blog topic, I’ve had several conversations with people who, universally, seem tired and dissatisfied with Trudeau. But not one of them likes Poilievre either …however, would likely vote for him to get rid of Trudeau. The message is clear: outside Quebec and some Liberal strongholds elsewhere, a new leader could be the Liberals only hope … and the only one I believe could have a chance is Carney… IF he has speech-making capabilities and can also speak French. h.o)
Quote: “There is a seething anger in the population as this gets worse and worse.”
You got that right. I am one of the few lucky ones because I have an ongoing health issue that requires me to have a family doctor. There are many in my age bracket (65+) who do not have a doctor and their health problems are treat mostly by Emergency Doctors, with a different doctor with each visit.
It seems Eby & Co. have completely lost the plot with healthcare (amongst other things), leaving Dix, hanging out to dry, on the issue.
At recent funerals, and god knows I have been attending far too many of late, I would say that the anger displayed about healthcare, in chats after the service, are far from “seething anger”, rather malignant hate of the government.
Eby is doing himself no favours spending a million here and a million there buying votes for the next election, instead of trying to mitigate the current health care crisis.
It far from a simple task, but the NDP seem absolutely afraid to say no to some groups, with their greasy palms out stretched for more government cash.
Eby is now also in a housing crisis with Atira and the predicted demovictions along Broadway.
The NDP brand is growing more and more sour, except our local media seem oblivious to the many ills with the present government. don’t worry – be happy stories is what our MSM report, with news being more of a side show than anything else.
The whole healthcare issue is like a tired old B-Movie script, tweaked and reworked for the coming election, but still is the stinker it always was.
It is all going to end badly.
(Response: Health care could turn out to be the BC NDP government’s Achilles Heel. Despite increased spending, it’s clear it is not enough to deal with our growing population, our ageing population, our increase in retiring physicians and our decline in new family doctors, hospital doctors, nurses, technicians …even pharmacists. The question remains, though: whether BC United have the leadership, the platform and the credibility to take advantage of the NDP’s weakness and failures in Health Care. h.o)
With the NDP spending $16 billion plus for a dam on shifting shale and $11 billion plus for 21.7 km of the SkyTrain light metro system, which will not take a car off the road, and the ongoing money being shelled out to the first nations, I guess the medical system has been ignored somewhat. I guess politicians and bureaucrats were hopeful that the Covid “Boomer Remover” would have removed more Boomers, boosting all sorts of taxes from house sales and alike.
We do not even know what Covid cost us.
As Eby shells out more and more money and our taxes increase to pay for civic, provincial and federal largess (my house taxes have increased by over $1,000!) I am not believe BC and Canada is rudderless, with hapless idiots at the helm.
Three years ago I inked the thought that politicians should be a s thrifty as they can because the aftermath of Covid was uncharted. Well, the opposite happened as politicians spent like lottery winners, yet have achieved next to nothing.
Civic politicians are in a class all by themselves with wanton spending, mostly spending on political friends and insiders.
I just shake my head as we seem absolutely powerless to do anything.
Sadly, it is all going to end badly.
The property taxes at my place of business have more than DOUBLED in 4 years.
$10k per year in 2019 to $23k in 2023.
And what have we received for this “doubling of taxes?
Roads have been plowed once in over 10 years when it snows.
We had tree inspectors stomp through the flower garden to….video, photo and tag….3 trees.
The tree police…
My house tax went up by a grand to over $7k and what do I get for this, not ******** much.
$450 to TransLink, BC’s most dishonest and bloated bureaucracy.
I would rather see that money spent on healthcare.
A simple road repaid now takes about 10 people, including 3 flaggers. Ka-ching!
And the politicians just look the other way.
Finger in the dyke management. Broken archaic system supported by ideological politicians. Definition of insanity……..
Sure ,just keep shoveling $ even though we spend the 2nd highest amount per capita in the western world with the 36th best outcomes. Money isn’t the problem. Management and the resulting lack of political courage is.
Nova Scotia just signed an agreement with Denmark for health care. So here we go again. Furtherance of the balkanized system of 10 provinces and 3 territories for the population of California, acting independently.
Reeks of mismanagement at both levels of Government.
(Response: A lot of British Columbians and other Canadians would be surprised to learn that in Quebec, private health care, including surgery, can be done and is being done quite regularly. So what’s the big deal about the same being allowed in BC or Ontario to clear our backlog and relieve people’s suffering? The only caveat I would impose: it must not be for the rich, but be part of the public health system, paid for by MSP … likely more efficiently and at lower cost, while relieving pressure on public operating rooms and other services. h.o)
I think the trouble with Healthcare in Canada is that any time anyone contemplates reforms to the system, there is the automatic response that we would be heading down the pathway to an American style system of Healthcare. There are a lot of good things about the US system (and some drawbacks too) but I think other advanced countries give us examples of better options for change.
The Japanese Health System is run by the Prefecture Governments (roughly the equivalent of a Canadian Province); Healthcare in Japan is universal, mostly free at the point of delivery (some services require small co-payments but free of charge for over 65s, under 18s, and people on low incomes) and there is a mix of private and public sector service providers (the big General Hospitals are mostly public, while specialized procedures are mostly performed in smaller private clinics and hospitals, which keeps wait times manageable). A lot of Western European countries also have a mix of public, private and charity health providers (under public administration), with shorter wait lists than us. Even the National Health Service in Britain sends patients to private providers for some smaller procedures like cataract surgeries (which saw dramatic drops in waiting times after private clinics were allowed to take NHS Patients 20 years ago).
The Canada Health Act states that Health Care is required to be under ‘Public Administration’ (or words to that effect). As you said, as long as there is a caveat that the Health Services are paid for by the Provincial Governments and access is Universal, private providers could become an auxiliary to the public system and the Federal Government wouldn’t even need to change the Canada Health Act to do it. Letting the Province’s experiment with different service providers may be the way to cope with the ageing population and increasing demands for Health services.
(Response: You raise a very valid point: anytime anyone proposes changes, there is an automatic reaction and rejection against it … suggesting it opens the door to the worst of the American system. We have to get over that and realize Canada’s Health Care system NEEDS an overhaul … along the lines of more successful public health care systems in France or Japan ..or ??? h.o)
In response to Harv’s comment.
Yes, we desperately need change because our health care system is a dated mixture of bureaucratic hocus pocus and spiced with 1940’s philosophy.
What needs to be done?
One thought is to have “practical doctors”, who can deal with minor issues, leaving more serious matters in the hands of GP’s.
They would be paid less of course but they would take the burden off GP’s to treat serious illness.
My many visits to Emerg. opened my eyes to the many minor complaints that people come in with and a practical doctor could deal with minor complaints, much faster and triage the more serious ills with the doctors.
I would also reinstate a nominal fee for visiting Emergency, like $10 a visit unless you are an out-patient, continuing therapy from your initial visit.
Also we should reinstate the training of nurses in hospitals as the students would get lots of hands on experience, especially with non-textbook issues.
And a biggie, is to come to grips with our current drug overdose fiasco and hard questions must be asked about addicts free to shoot up with free drugs anywhere they please and i think it is time to deal with this issue because what is being done is making things worse.
The big problem I see is bureaucratic inertia, where hordes of paper pushing bureaucrats will do anything to keep their cushy jobs.
It is a mess, but like Transit, Forestry, Housing, the Environment, and more, the government is fumbling the ball very badly and I do not see Falcon dealing with the issue with real solutions.
BC healthcare has been in a constant decline for over a decade.
The current model has far too many admin folks, far too many regional authorities (even religious organizations masquerading as health providers) & an entire hoard of excuse making communication types.
The wealthy BC residents just fly to the Mayo clinic or such, nothing new there, I know one family that’s gone there for medical reasons for over 2 decades.
The real reason for the kneecapping of for profit medicine in BC is the unions, their boardrooms are very similar to corporate ones, just with the added fiscal advantage of being a government sanctioned monopoly.
From 2012-2019 I cared for my wife who had terminal cancer. Those 6&1/2 years of dealing with our health system have forever changed me, not really for the better, but rather cause me to view our healthcare system as a bureaucratic and management heavy albatross mostly focused on their employees while going to amazing lengths to buffalo any and all users who try to voice concerns. I have a few instances of this documented with faux apologies, but zero change resulted from the disrespectful and callous treatment. All of you reading this would be shocked to know how we were treated by some of the health ministry employees, a very sobering and disturbing reality I wish I never experienced.
Go talk to cancer patients, witness the despair many of them see, not easy to do, but 6&1/2 years of that exposure has left me wondering on many issues within BC healthcare.
From the Province trying to defund the small amount of money for the cancer driver program, to G Robertson/G Meggs capitulation to the bike lobby resulting in a bike lane right past the main entrance to the BCCA on 10th ave (resulted in fewer parking spaces & the added stress of patients running the gauntlet of cyclists, many in wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility assisting devices), but hey a few more votes from the cyclists?
Sorry, I could go on for hours, 6&1/2 years of 1st hand data to try to suppress in my mind so as not to allow myself to become even more bitter & jaded by the observations I had!
(Response: I don’t blame the unions: the sad truth is those working/staying in our health system get paid a lot less than they could make if they accepted the salaries and bonuses they are offered in the US. We owe ours here great gratitude. Governments have simply not kept up with the increases in funding needed to fulfill the needs of our growing population, ageing population … and the need to educate more people in the health field, provide incentives to stay (or repayment penalties if they move south?) after they graduate and more incentives to attract competent foreign doctors/nurses etc. h.o)
May 24 B.C. health care related news items;
An Okanagan hospital short of staff as they can’t afford to live there.
Surrey Memorial doctors stick their necks out bringing to light the emergency in emergency due too staffing issues.
Saanich Peninsula hospital critically short of staff.
Doctor in Esquimalt shortens her patient load by cutting off every one under 50.
Lady Minto hospital on Saltspring, short of staff and can’t renovate housing for staff due to people temporarily housed refusing to leave.
And another mention of North Island hospitals with intermittent closures of emergency depts.
Not just in B.C., 25 May before 8 a.m. 200 doctors in Alberta illuminating their concerns over health care crisis.
French health care system;
Spoke to a relative in Brittany who found a lump, next day in to see her family doctor, preliminary diagnosis breast cancer.
Next day all tests and procedures for further investigations booked over the span of a couple of weeks.
21 days after the initial visit to her family doctor, in office appointment with the specialist at the hospital, all test results in and surgery discussed then scheduled, post surgery processes and follow-ups discussed. Not a problem as the cancer was caught very early. Just under 6 weeks from initial family doctor visit to surgery. All costs covered.
I can’t add too much to the previous excellent points and frustrations that have been made, and getting back to some semblance of a functioning healthcare system will be a long term project as every province has the same problems. Nor make too much of the previous provincial governments damage to the health infrastructure and making it a place to avoid and work, anywhere but B.C.. Takes time to fix that mess.
The usual default in part is streamlining recognition foreign trained medicos. Does that mean;
Those already here but can’t get through the regulatory hoops ( which in part is being addressed.) Or those wanting to come to Canada. Or, poaching from other countries which I find morally and ethically appalling, as per Manitoba.
Canada and Canadian employers have historically used the immigration process to address often short term labour shortages, at the expense of an integrated part of the culture education and training regimens, or farmed out those responsibilities to colleges etc. that are often cost prohibitive. Much of the world is in the same labour crunch, time to start looking domestically long term.
(Response: Many communities in many provinces and in many countries are having critical staff shortages for almost every health care job. This is not something that can be solved in a year or two: people are literally dying waiting for care! It’s really a long term problem that requires substantial changes in how health care is run. In Canada, the only thing that offers a realistic chance for rapid improvement … instead of shipping patients to the US … is to allow private providers a role, funded by taxpayers at negotiated rates. They can operate much more efficiently than public facilities, have much less red tape (and politics) to deal with relieve and I have no doubt could relieve the burden now facing the public system. I fully support Canada’s public health system and as recently as five years ago opposed the idea of private surgery etc …but nothing has substantially improved: time for provincial and federal governments to take a new direction … to save lives and alleviate suffering. h.o)
A few years ago I spoke to an eldely neighbor that came back from holidays wearing a cast.
He was in France a went bicycle riding, crashed, broken shoulder and arm.
“How was their medical system?”
They realized I could barely speak French in the ambulance.
They had an interpreter meet with me and the doctor at the ER.
Everything was explained from the initial X-Rays, to the consultation with the doctor to the surgery….All the same day!”
His rehab lasted 5 days in the hospital and he said, “The food was amazing. They take pride in the meals. It was like being in a fancy restaurant…”
He had nothing bad to say about the healthcare in France.
Canada has a long way to go to deal with the expensive, lethargic, unaccountable, bureaucratic red tape , disaster that is our “health care” system now…..
I think most of us agree changes are needed. Despite all the marvellous drugs and injections the very caring pharmaceutical industry provides, many people are still getting sick. Maybe it’s time to stop discrediting natural medicine, emphasize prevention and allow more private clinics.
I recently talked to a lady from South Africa, who has been in Canada for 4 years.
She had a hip problem, she went through all the tests etc, and she waited one and a half months and the hip was replaced. All at the Nanaimo hospital. So why such long wait times, when someone like this lady only waits such a short time. Unreal …
(Response: My reaction when you said she waited “one and a half months and the hip was replaced” was How lucky she was …only one and a half month wait. That’s how bad things have become in BC health care: we are now so used to hearing about people waiting years, we think it’s good when they only wait one and a half months! Terrible! She was clearly very lucky to get in so fast. h.o)
The Nanaimo hospital is very good at providing health care. They seem to be very good at pulling a rabbbit out of the hat. When there isn’t some one blocking a cubicle in the E.R. more people get seen more quickly. The sibling was provided very good care there for on going health problems which included Parkinsons. The hospital also has a great hospice care unit. My personal experience was great and they were preparing the hospital to be the COVID hospital for the North Island at the time I was there. Thought the third from the bottom stair was the ground. Wasn’t, fell, went flying, ambulance came, into E.R. holding–for a brief time, X-Rayed, E.R. doctor advised broken femur, surgery in the a.m. with Dr. B. Taken to the ward and at 10:30 the next morning was operated on, 5 or 6 days later discharged. Care workers came to home for almost 3 months. life resumed.
Due to a doctor shortage in the area, the government opened a Nurse Practioner centre. The neighbours have used them, being a new neighbourhood with people moving in from other areas and so no doctors. They said they were happy with the medical care received and that includes one person who was pregnant. They provided all her pre natal care. Having been in other E.R.s, Nanaimo’s is by far the best organized.
Yes, there is a problem in a number of provinces in Canada with health care or rather the lack of access to it. However, sending people to Washington State is not such a huge deal. People have gone shopping there and picking up gas for decades. Sending people to Bellingham for cancer treatment makes sense if they can’t get it in a timely manner in B.C. I’d go. Not that long ago, people outside of the lower mainland had to come to Greater Vancouver for a lot of major surgeries and cancer treatments. That involved a hell of a lot more travelling than people from the lower mainland going to Bellingham. People who live in the North of the province still have to travel to Kelowna. People on Vancouver Island all have to go to Victoria. Thats a lot more travel than going for Surrey or Vancouver to Bellingham. Know of lots of people who go there regularly to shop for the afternoon.
people who complain they have to travel an extra 20 or 40 minutes to a hospital because their E.R. is closed need to get a grip. At one time, not that long ago there were no hospitals in those locations and the population hasn’t grown that much in those areas. Before Burnaby General, Richmond Hospital and a number of others were built, we all had to go to St. Pauls or VGH or Shaughnessy. In a lot of cases that was longer than a 20 or 40 minute drive.
When the “new” highway to Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope was built, the number of traffic accidents increased as did the seriousness of them and Royal Columbia was the place to take patients with head injuries. there weren’t any hospitals close to the Valley which could accomodate these types of injuries. Recall an interview with one of the doctors of that time, he commented yes the hospital doctors had become very good at dealing with head/brain injuries, they learnt on the job. the doctor also did ads for MADD.
When people move to remote areas on the Island and other places, they need to understand the services they enjoyed in an urban area will not be there in rural areas. Some times you even have to move back to an urban area to obtain the services you need. That is life. Get used to it. You can not expect to have all services in every place in the province. (I’m not advocating for something our family didn’t experience). Parental units built their custom 3000 sq. ft home on the ocean on a Gulf Island. Male parental unit started having heart attacks which required he be flown out–no ferry available, they operate on a schedule. Actually no air strip on the Island except for a private one, which a family friend owned, so they could land there. Last heart attack was during a very intense storm–no planes were flying. Hover craft sent–took two hours. After discussion with Island doctor, put the house up for sale because the doctor informed him there was nothing they could do if he had something more severe. It was sad, but that is the choice you have to make if you want to live. They continued to live in their home in the Vancouver area.
An article I was reading about how hard it is to become a Doctor in various countries in the world the U.S.A. and Canada ranked one and two. Why? Because both countries require a Bachelor degree of some sort, so that is a 4 year committment, usually and that ads to the cost of becoming a doctor. In Germany you go directly fromn high school into Medical school. Germany also is rated in the top couple of countries as having the best doctors in the world. Switzerland was another one. G.B.–directly into school, but the time there is long, internship goes on forever, but they are earning. Perhaps its time Canada looked at eliminating the 4 year Bachelor degree or modify it and including it into the doctor training.
It has been difficult for doctors of other countries to become doctors in Canada. It is acknowledged that doctors need to have sufficient qualifcations to practise in B.C. but the “pathway forward” is loaded with obsticals. If Canada wants more doctors, they need to put more doctors through medical school faster and remove the barriers for international doctors to practise in Canada. That applies to Nurses also.
(Response: It is a ridiculous comparison when you suggest BC patients having to go to the US for health care is similar to going shopping for gas! No!! We pay very, very heavy taxes here … much higher here than in many US states … so we can/should get the health care we need HERE, not in Bellingham. And for an NDP government to make a deal with a FOR PROFIT private hospital in the US to provide services, after spending MILLIONS of taxpayers’ dollars fighting Dr Brian Day, trying to provide much needed private services here, is the ultimate in socialist hypocrisy! h.o)
Don’t agree with “ultimate in socialist hupocrisy”The issues with Dr. Day and moving patients to the USA are two seperate issues.
We truly don’t pay “Very heavy taxes here”. Check out Europe. You get what you pay for and in the U.S.A. they have a lot fewer “services”. Education is not a great thing either in the public sector. ditto with health care and services we take for granted here in Canada, i.e. garbage pick up.
Yes there is a difference between shopping for gas and going for medical treatment. My point was, its not an undue hardship. People go to Bellingham all the time. Now instead of picking up cheap milk they get radiation treatment. There are still all sorts of cancer patients in B.C. who have to travel long distances to get health care as I pointed out.
Now its time to check you the new post! Thank you this post. I created a lot of discussion
Does France ever send patients to Belgium? Does Sweden ever send patients to Norway? Does Kuwait send patients to Saudi Arabia? The NDP are sending patients to the US because of the universal health care fairytale that everyone gets the same level of health care and private health care is bad. It’s a great example of socialist hypocrisy.