We're asking all of the political parties to commit to strengthen public health care for everyone in B.C. by taking action in 5 key ways:
- Activating public solutions to wait times
- Improving care for seniors
- Increasing access to primary care
- Ending MSP fees
- Implementing a Poverty Reduction Plan
Learn more about these key solutions to strengthen health care below.
Activating public solutions to wait times
Everyone deserves timely, quality care. Proven solutions exist, but we need government leadership to makes sure they are introduced across the province. Maximizing the use of public operating rooms, adopting a "first available surgeon" model of waiting list management, scaling up innovative pilot projects, expanding "one-stop-shop" patient assessment clinics and improving access to home and community care would shorten wait lists for everyone, not just the privileged few who can pay for care. Find additional information about public solutions to wait times here.
Improving care for seniors, at home and in community
Seniors deserve to live with dignity in their homes and communities. Without care at home and in community, seniors become isolated, family caregivers overburdened, and costly hospital services overcrowded.
Right now in B.C., there is a shortage of residential care beds, it’s harder than ever to get home support, and there’s a growing gap between those who can afford care and those who cannot. In addition, 9 out of 10 care homes in BC are understaffed, meaning that even when seniors find a place to stay, they don't get the care they need to live with dignity.
A commitment to care for seniors must include concrete plans to meet public residential care, home support, and assisted living needs of B.C.’s seniors, and to integrate seniors care services with community supports and the wider health care system
Increasing access to primary care, including mental health care services
We often hear from people who can't even get in the door of the health care system because they can't find a family doctor. In Ontario, Community Health Centres (CHCs) have helped address this problem by bringing together health teams that include nurse practitioners, dieticians, physiotherapists and counsellors, so that primary care access isn't entirely reliant on a limited supply of doctors. At CHCs, people can access a range of care all in the same place. CHCs also work to address the health of the community around them, working upstream to address health issues before people even get sick.
Ending MSP fees in favour of fairer options.
BC is the only province that collects a flat rate health tax - what's more, money from MSP fees doesn't even directly fund health care, it simply becomes part of the general revenue. The BC Government recently decided to reduce MSP fees however, this still means we'll be collecting a flat tax while all the other provinces pay for health care out of their regular taxes. In addition, cutting MSP fees without bringing in a plan to replace the lost revenue, means the BC government will have even less resources to address the major crises we're facing in health care.
Implementing a Poverty Reduction Plan
We know that poverty has major negative health impacts, and that addressing poverty can save a significant amount money in terms of health care spending. Still, B.C. is the only province without a Poverty Reduction Plan. We've joined the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition in calling for a plan to address poverty. You can read more about the plan here.