MLA Minute

By Doug Clovechok

The NDP’s healthcare failures continue to leave doctors and nurses sidelined.

After seven years of the current NDP government, our healthcare system has never been worse. We have watched a crisis unfold in every part of the system and it’s time the NDP answers for their failures.

Under the former BC United (BC Liberal) government, British Columbia was boasted the best cancer care in the country. 

To see our system crumble this dramatically in seven years is a true testament to the NDP’s mismanagement. Instead of fixing the problems here in B.C., David Eby has opted to send cancer patients to the U.S. for radiation therapy. 

Yet people are still dying on waitlists. In fact, the lists are so long that some people have been directed to consider medically assisted suicide because they can’t get the timely care they need. 

When it was announced that David Eby would send people to the U.S., he promised that 50 patients would be sent each week. However, the government’s own documents reveal the NDP has sent only an average of 12 patients each week — and zero from Interior Health. After failing to provide life-saving cancer treatment in British Columbia, the NDP are now failing at their backup plan. 

At present, only 75 per cent of B.C.’s cancer patients are receiving radiation therapy within the Canadian benchmark of 28 days. 

This is down from 93 per cent in 2018 and well below the national average of 97 per cent. Every day beyond this lifesaving 28-day window increases the chance of cancer worsening.

Meanwhile, it is suffering cancer patients and burnt-out healthcare staff who are paying the price for the NDP’s failure to provide adequate cancer care. 

Worryingly, the problems don’t stop with cancer care, as emergency rooms across the province are having to shut their doors due to staff shortages. 

In Williams Lake, staff put up a sign warning patients to stay away unless they were ‘imminently dying’. 

Despite the increasing chaos in our hospitals, the NDP continues to sideline thousands of doctors and nurses who don’t meet the province’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements — a measure that was always meant to be temporary. 

Since June of 2022, BC United has been calling on the NDP to follow the rest of Canada and end the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Why should B.C. be the only province in Canada still facing these requirements?

Quite frankly, we need all hands on deck to deal with this crisis, and the NDP’s continued resistance on this matter will bring further harm to our healthcare system at a time when it’s already in shambles. 

Once globally renowned for our healthcare system, B.C. is now an international embarrassment thanks to David Eby’s inability to deliver proper care. It’s time for the NDP to bring back the thousands of sidelined healthcare staff and make changes to our system that prioritize giving people access to the timely, quality care they need and deserve. Enough is enough. 

I want to hear from you about any concerns you have about this or any other issue. I read every email I receive. Please reach out to me at [email protected] or call my office in Kimberley at (250) 432-2300 or Revelstoke at (250) 805-0323.