WHISTLER (September 15, 2022) – With local government leaders from across B.C. gathered for the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention, the BC Liberal Caucus hosted a roundtable to discuss B.C.’s worsening health care crisis, and what needs to be done to improve health outcomes for British Columbians.
“Our province is in the midst of a deadly health care crisis, and yet this BC NDP government has yet to address these serious and life-threatening issues with the urgency they require,” said BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon. “Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke at length about health care at UBCM this week, but somehow failed to announce any new initiatives to support our crumbling health care system. We spent the summer offering solutions to help fix the crisis and they continue to be ignored by this government. Meanwhile, in every corner of the province, we can see the impacts of this crisis, with emergency room closures, staffing shortages, ambulance delays and nearly one in five British Columbians without access to a family doctor. Tragically, we have even seen this unaddressed crisis take the lives of numerous people over the past year.”
The roundtable follows the Provincial Government’s 2022-23 First Quarterly Report, which revealed the NDP is sitting on a $706 million surplus and billions in other contingencies instead of investing in health care or making good on promises to address affordability. During the roundtable discussion, local government leaders shared about the state of health care in their regions, stressing the severity, and the urgency, of the situation, and the need for immediate help to address staffing shortages and other serious issues.
“Conversations like the ones we had in this roundtable are essential to understanding the extent of the crisis and determining what steps can be taken immediately to tackle this growing crisis,” said Shirley Bond, BC Liberal Critic for Health. “Repeatedly, we heard that the NDP government should be investing in our health care system with measurable outcomes, not hoarding billions of dollars in surpluses and contingencies that could be providing relief and saving lives. British Columbians deserve access to quality health care, and continual delays and excuses from the NDP will only put more people at risk. This is a time for action, not empty words, and government must step up and work with local governments to get our health care system back on its feet.”