The BC Health Coalition reviewed the major B.C. parties’ platforms to evaluate their positions on five areas that would improve public health care for everyone. Here's a quick view guide.
Parties are listed in alphabetical order.
See the detailed analysis by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down :
- Activating public solutions to wait times
- Improving care for seniors
- Increasing access to primary care, including mental health
- Ending MSP fees for a fairer option
- Implementing a Poverty Reduction Plan
We scored the parties out of 4 stars based on the following rubric:
- ★★★★ Party makes all priority commitments
- ★★★ Party makes most priority commitments
- ★★ Party makes some priority commitments, not most
- ★ Party makes one priority commitment
- - Party makes no meaningful commitment
Stars were subtracted where a party commits to a measure that would have a negative impact on public health care.
Our health care priority areas are based on peer-reviewed research and on our mission to strengthen public health care. Our coalition will be ready to work with any government formed following the election to advance the 5 priority areas.
In order to be included in our evaluation, parties must meet two of these three criteria: have candidates in at least 90 per cent of ridings, received at least 10 per cent of the popular vote in 2013, and have at least one seat in the legislature.
We have provided short summaries of the information we found most relevant in each of the parties' platforms. For easy reading, the summaries are neither detailed not exhaustive. If you'd like more information, links to the criteria we used in the evaluation, and to all the party platforms can be found at the bottom of the page.
Activating public solutions to wait times
We need government leadership to introduce proven public solutions to shorten waits for everyone, not just those who can pay.
We were looking for: solutions that strengthen the public health care system, make efficient use of existing hospital capacity, use practices - such as the "first available surgeon" model - that have reduced wait times in other provinces, scale up innovative pilot projects, and improve access to home and community care.
* Reference for this statement here
Improving care for seniors, at home and in community
We need government leadership to address the decline in access to public home and community care that is leaving many seniors unsupported, caregivers overburdened, and hospitals overcrowded.
We were looking for: concrete plans to meet the needs of B.C.’s seniors in terms of public residential care, home support and assisted living, and integration of seniors care services with community supports and the wider health care system.
Increasing access to primary care, including mental health care services
Thousands of people in British Columbia don’t have a doctor; we need government leadership to support team-based care so that primary care access isn't entirely reliant on a limited supply of doctors.
We need interdisciplinary team-based care: the doctor-focused model of primary care is not the most efficient use of our health care dollars, and we've heard that the stress of being the sole care provider in a community is one reason doctors leave rural communities. Focusing on a interdisciplinary team-based model of primary care can also improve the patient experience and reduce pressure on hospitals and residential care.
The British Columbia Association of Community Health Centres also released an evaluation of party responses to a questionnaire they submitted. Their analysis contributed to our scoring and can be accessed by clicking here.
A note on improvements to mental health services:
We campaigned for improvements in access to mental health care, however we felt other organizations were better positioned to evaluate the platforms on this issue than we were. We suggest that you look at information from an organization with expertise in this area - the Canadian Mental Health Association’s summary can be accessed by clicking here.
Ending MSP fees in favour of fairer options.
It’s time to eliminate unfair MSP premiums and integrate these fees into B.C.’s regular income tax system.
We need a commitment and timeline to fully end MSP fees, and a plan to integrate them into the progressive tax system.
Implementing a Poverty Reduction Plan
We know that reducing poverty and inequality can improve health outcomes and save significant amount of health care spending. Still, B.C. is the only province without a Poverty Reduction Plan.
We need a commitment to develop a poverty reduction plan and solutions that echo those put forward by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition. These include: increasing welfare and disability rates; increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and restoring employment standards, adding to the number of social and co-op housing units by 10 000 a year; adopting a $10 a day child care plan; reducing the cost and increasing access to post-secondary education and adequately funding K-12 education.
We are grateful to the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition for their tireless work to end poverty in B.C. and for their input and assistance in the completion of this portion of the platform. To see the Poverty Reduction's analysis check out: www.makepovertypublic.ca
Links to party platforms
Links to our materials