British Columbians rightfully take pride in how our healthcare system and our frontline healthcare workers responded to COVID-19. Despite surgery cancellations and pivoting to prepare for an unknown number of potential COVID-19 cases, we adapted.
Now as we head into the fall and winter we need to start to balance competing priorities: we must remain vigilant and able to quickly respond to a second wave even as we start to bring back surgeries and open up more of our healthcare system to non-COVID care.
One of the more important priorities we must once again tackle urgently is the family doctor shortage in BC. Successive governments have struggled to increase the number of family doctors available in communities across BC.
The BC Greens will continue to work with physicians and other stakeholders to improve the incentives for doctors to set up family practices in BC. There is also a greater role that qualified foreign-trained physicians could play in providing services in our province.
In the last government, the BC Greens helped champion the creation of primary care networks. These interprofessional and integrated teams are providing more access to physiotherapists, nurse practitioners, midwives, dieticians and other health professionals, helping alleviate the burden on doctors, increasing their ability to take on new patients.
While promising, the primary care networks will need ongoing support in order to be successful in their goals. It's more important than ever that British Columbians can get access to the care they need in their communities.
This accessibility of care goes hand-in-hand with another core value of the BC Greens approach to healthcare—ensuring that a far greater share of our healthcare spending is shifted to support prevention.
The BC Greens' plan for Primary care
The task force will review the funding and range of services covered by the health care system to ensure the mix of services better meets the treatment and prevention needs of the population. The task force will deliver its recommendations to the government by May 2022.