VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the Minister of Health announced $118 million in temporary overhead relief funding for family physicians and their patients. The B.C. Green Caucus has issued the following statement:
"This is one of many steps the government needs to take to demonstrate that they value doctors and nurses, and are truly prioritizing people who deliver healthcare," said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “We called for funding to support overhead relief earlier this year, what has taken so long? Far more needs to be done to stop clinics closing, and to ensure people have access to a primary care provider.”
“Why today and not months ago? Many clinics have closed their doors while the government did nothing to address the increasing cost of overhead,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “Doctors in my riding have raised this with me for years now, I’ve shared their concerns with the Ministry of Health. Their lack of action up until now has cost people their family doctor and access to primary healthcare.
“I am still waiting for Minister Adrian Dix to show British Columbians a coherent plan. This crisis requires more than a series of government announcements,” said Olsen. “Confidence in government’s ability to address this crisis is low and to earn the public trust back the Ministry of Health can’t keep responding to it with bandaids.
“The B.C. Green Caucus has been calling for a modernized fee-for-service system that allows doctors to bill for the amount of time they spend with patients, and recognizes the tremendous unpaid time they spend running their businesses. We've heard time and time again that communities need localized solutions - we need significant and stable investment in expanding community health centres that provide holistic, team-based care.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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