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Furstenau launches Provincial Healthcare Tour, calls on Horgan to take responsibility for healthcare crisis

June 09, 2022

VANCOUVER B.C. – B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau today launched a Provincial Healthcare Tour to speak to healthcare providers, advocates and patients on the collapsing public healthcare system in BC.

“We need to build a coalition of healthcare advocates across this province,” Furstenau said. “To do that, my colleague MLA Adam Olsen and I will travel across B.C. this summer. We will meet with healthcare providers and people struggling to access healthcare services. We will listen to their stories and learn from them. We will bring their voices back to the legislature louder than ever before.”

“In June 2000, then-health minister Mike Farnworth wrote to BC’s doctors in BC Medical Journal. He explained that he knew that the public healthcare system was beginning to fail, and outlined the same problems facing family physicians today. He promised to ‘rely on the advice of the experts: BC’s doctors.’ The B.C. Liberals made a bad problem worse by gutting funding and services as soon as they formed government in 2001, but the B.C. NDP failed to use their years in opposition listening to BC's doctors, which would have prepared them for governing today. British Columbians have suffered because of these compounding failures.

“We must listen to the doctors, nurses, paramedics, patients and advocates who have the lived experience in our healthcare system to guide our public policies and decision-making. That is why Adam and I will be meeting with them across BC this summer.”

The B.C. Green Healthcare Tour comes as criticism grows of the B.C. NDP’s lack of preparation for summer climate emergencies; more hospital emergency rooms have had to temporarily close their doors; the province’s Urgent and Primary Care Clinics are chronically under-staffed; mental health continues to decline; nearly one million British Columbians go without a family doctor; and six people continue to die every day from poisonous drugs.

“The B.C. government must move with urgent action on healthcare,” Furstenau added. “British Columbians are worried and suffering from lack of access to their own healthcare system. By the premier’s own admission, ‘The system is teetering.’ 

“The B.C. Greens will keep the pressure on the B.C. NDP. They have known about the problems plaguing our system for decades, and done little about it. It may be summer, but the healthcare needs of British Columbians  don’t take a break.  Neither will the B.C. Greens.”

Furstenau also released Healthy BC, a summary of the healthcare announcements and calls the B.C. Greens have made over the last two years. Several non-partisan experts who have worked with the party’s MLAs on healthcare policy joined Furstenau to speak about their experiences navigating the healthcare system in B.C. See below for their statements.

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Quotes from nonpartisan healthcare experts


“The healthcare system in British Columbia is very good, but far from perfect. There are many challenges to offering the best care for patients, created by a system managed by government officials and hospital leaders who are not clinical care experts and who are often forced to make choices for political reasons, rather than the right ones.

“Improving healthcare is not solely dependent upon the influx of more money into the system. The most important aspect to cost efficiency is achieving good health, that is, preventing illness and optimizing outcomes for those that suffer from medical problems. Politicians need to do their part to implement solutions, but developing solutions for British Columbians must involve people whose responsibility it is to care for the sickest among us.”

Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, Associate Professor of Surgery at UBC School of Medicine, Chief of Pediatric Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital


“Psychologists in BC want to use the science and best practice evidence from around the world, and even from right here in Vancouver, to make systemic, long-term changes to the way mental and behavioural healthcare is delivered in this province. 

A first step towards this is integrating psychologists into primary care. We want to provide the people of BC with high quality mental and behavioural healthcare right when they need it; by doing so, we prevent mild mental health challenges from becoming chronic, severe or, at worst, a crisis, and we support our family doctors, reducing their wait-times to see patients and helping to prevent their burnout.”

Dr. Erika Penner, Clinical Psychologist, Director of Public Advocacy at B.C. Psychological Association


“We must replace the entire illicit drug supply with regulated substances accessible to all.”

Karen Ward, drug policy and poverty reduction consultant

 

Tour breakdown

Dates and locations are subject to change. Itineraries will be published ahead of each leg of the tour. 

Date

Location

MLA

June 16

Lower Mainland

Furstenau

June 20 

Lower Mainland

Furstenau

June 17-18 

Sea-to-Sky

Furstenau 

July 14-19

Kootenays, Okanagan

Olsen

July 25 

Northwest

Furstenau and Olsen 

August 4-6

Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast 

Furstenau and Olsen

August 18-20

Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky

Olsen

September 3-5

Kootenays

Furstenau

September 12-16

Sea-to-Sky

Furstenau and Olsen

September 24

Lower Mainland

Furstenau and Olsen

 

Attached

Media contact

+1 778-650-0597
[email protected] 

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