As the population on the West Shore pushes 90,000, B.C. Green Party candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca Camille Currie and her party leader are calling for increased transparency in health care amid what they are calling a health-care crisis in the province.
Currie was joined by party leader Sonia Furstenau and deputy leader Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi at a press conference in the party’s Langford office Wednesday (June 14) announcing their wider call for health-care leadership reform in B.C.
“The population on the West Shore is at nearly 90,000 individuals, and current information suggests to us that 75 per cent of that population does not have access to a family doctor or a nurse practitioner,” said Currie. “This is not only deplorable, it is also costing lives in this community. Addressing this is absolutely one of my top priorities. One of the ways we can get to making a difference rather quickly is, as my colleagues have said today, increasing transparency and accountability around the one and only walk-in clinic that we have in this community, the (Westshore) Urgent Primary Care Centre.”
Currie said the latest data she has show the care centre is only staffed at 37 per cent of its capacity, so the most important question to be asking is how existing resources are being used, rather than simply looking to expand them.
She said health-care professionals are more concerned with working conditions and quality of care than they are with money or equipment.
“They’re trying their hardest to provide care in a system that is working against them. This is why we need reform.”
Furstenau took that point further, saying the governing NDP has responded to the health-care crisis with announcements while ignoring underlying issues contributing to the crisis.
“We need an overhaul of how health-care decisions are made in this province,” said Furstenau. “Bureaucracy has gotten in the way of quality health care in B.C. By reforming it, we can retain more health-care workers, spend money more efficiently, and ultimately deliver the health outcomes people expect a universal health-care system to deliver.”
The Greens are calling for a suite of reforms to the health-care bureaucracy, including standardized processes for health-care programs, measurable patient outcomes tied to every plan, comprehensive support for healthcare workers, and a re-evaluation of how money is spent by health authorities.
Following the announcement, the Greens published an 11-point health-care reform plan in a news release. Points in the plan include making disease prevention the central pillar of B.C. health care, orient plans around measurable health outcomes, rather than money spent or people hired, be transparent about the challenges being faced in the system and the data being used to evaluate it, reassess health authority and health ministry expenses, build a new internal culture across health authorities and the Ministry of Health, and simplify and standardize processes while improving internal communications.