Jan. 27, 2022

We have a serious health care problem in B.C.

SEE VIDEO – We have a health care problem and it’s not magically going to go away. The shutdown of three walk-in medical clinics in Victoria in the last couple of weeks is only a symptom. It spotlights the problem – we have too few family doctors and they can’t handle the workload any longer. There are thousands of people in BC who don’t have a family doctor . . . and they have no hope of finding one.

The COVID pandemic changed how family medicine is practised –– now there’s an app for that, no more face to face. Many doctor visits are now by telephone or “telehealth” as they like to call it. 

It didn’t happen overnight. For decades we haven’t trained enough doctors because politicians argued they could save money by training fewer doctors. About a decade ago the province doubled the number of medical school training spots, but that was not enough to offset the number of doctors who are retiring.

Medical advancements have also increased life expectancy, we now live longer and therefore require more medical services.

Our governments, regardless of political stripe, need to pay serious attention, and they have to do it soon. Health care is one of the biggest expenditures in the provincial budget. I hate to suggest another government task force to study a massive overhaul of the health care system, but we’ve been applying bandaids for too long.