Tag Archives: healthcare

Fraser Health Review Acknowledges Problems

The review of Fraser Health highlights the serious problems that the B.C. Liberals have created in our health care system, but doesn’t do enough to fix them, say the New Democrats.

“When action was needed to address serious issues like hospital overcrowding, emergency room wait times and inadequate staffing levels in Fraser Health, the ministry failed to take action, and responded by promising this review instead,” said New Democrat health critic Judy Darcy.

“But the changes outlined in this review fall short of what people in this region deserve. There is no commitment to sustained funding to bring the region in line with the rest of the province, and no commitment to more staff in hospitals.”

Fraser Health has the lowest per-capita funding in B.C., despite being the fastest growing region. The review allows for an investment in community care in the region, but doesn’t address the diverse, urgent needs across the system, said Darcy.

“To truly take the pressure off the acute care system, the B.C. Liberals need to make strategic investments in a range of areas that have been neglected for years, specifically integrated teams in community health centres, home support, residential care beds and mental health and addictions,” said Darcy.

While investment in community care is a good thing, she added, just next door in Vancouver, the B.C. Liberals are dismantling primary care in community health centres across the city, which provide precisely the kind of primary care that is needed in the Fraser Health region.

“The last thing that people in this region need is more disjointed approaches to health care, and more rhetoric without action,” said Darcy.

“Unfortunately, this review is short on real-world solutions. For instance, while changes like cutting down overtime sound appealing, the bigger picture is that this need for overtime is caused by chronic understaffing, which is not being addressed.”

Darcy said she is pleased to see the report finally released, but disappointed that people in this region are not getting the help they deserve, even when this review confirms that outcomes in Fraser Health are not good enough.

“While the B.C. Liberals continue to put off making real changes across this system, people in this region are coping with inexcusable wait times. They need solutions, not more promises

MRIs, Brain Tumours and the Lowest Taxes in Canada

A very quick follow up to my post about the golf courses, country clubs and taxes. I have a dear friend and colleague who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. He has a cancerous tumour on his brain’s thalamus. For those unfamiliar with the location of the parts of the brain, it is deep inside his brain where the doctors cannot access.

But the real story here is that when it was first suspected that there was something wrong inside his brain (he quickly acted upon the early warning signs and did go see his doctor.) His doctor referred him to another doctor who referred him to another. One of the doctors had a CAT scan done but could not find anything definitively wrong. The doctor had a hunch there was something more to the situation so he placed my friend on the waitlist to get an MRI done.

That waitlist was approximately 4-6 months long. My friend being the kind of guy who wants to know what is going on with his health decided to pay the thousands of dollars for the MRI and had it done right away. That was when they found the tumour on his thalamus.

Once the doctor saw the results of the MRI they told my friend that without any treatment his life expectancy was three months.

If he had not paid for that MRI out of his own pocket he quite possibly could have died while waiting for an MRI.

I really believe that Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals have broken the social contract that holds our province together. The race to to the bottom so that we have the lowest tax rates in Canada have wrought disastrous consequences for the people of our province. We need to change something in BC and I think the first thing that should be changed is the government. For the good of the people of our province.

BC Chamber of Commerce Breakfast with Kevin Falcon

My posting from my breakfast with Kevin Falcon, the Honourable Kevin Falcon that is, will be posted on the Vancouver Observer site shortly…that is if it makes it past the eagle eye of my editor/publisher, Linda Solomon.

You might be surprised at what I have to say about the Falcon vision of our health system…I certainly was! I will post a direct link as soon as it is available.

You can now read my posting on the Vancouver Observer directly. Enjoy it, and please share it!

Fraser Health cancelling surgeries in favour of imported patients?

The other day we were sitting around the Editorial Board Table pondering the news that the BC Liberals underfunding of health-care in the Fraser Health region (or whatever they call it this week) was forcing the Fraser Health Authority to cancel “elective” surgeries and close operating rooms. The point made at our table was that this move was going to be very unpopular with the doctors who work in that region because cancelled surgeries equals a cut in the earnings of the province’s doctors. And one thing the BC Liberals appear to not want to do is piss off the doctors and nurses of this province. 

So we were wondering how these cutbacks to the doctors’ earnings were going to be managed by the provincial government. And then today the answer arrived; bring in out-of-province patients who need hip and knee replacement surgery. But these patients are from other provinces, patients who have their medical procedures paid for by outside agencies, like other provinces.

Health Minister Kevin Falcon has confirmed that BC is negotiating with other provinces to have 400 medical procedures brought to the idle BC operating rooms. This importing will keep the BC doctors’ pay flowing and possibly earn some revenue for the province. Great stuff for the doctors and the province, sucks to be you if you are a BC resident waiting for a hip or knee replacement.

Maybe that Saskatchewan program that was trying to get ex-pat Saskatchewan residents to move home can add another benefit to the advantages of living on the prairies…fast access to BC health-care services.

American healthcare costs

Spoke to a gentleman from the USA yesterday evening; he had an unfortunate incident on a motorcycle this spring when he “tucked” the front wheel in too tight on a corner and crashed, at speed. Due to the crash he hit his head on the road surface and drove his shoulder into the road, breaking a bone in his collarbone.

However, because he hit his head, he was unconcious for fifteen minutes. Because of this, the paramedics on the scene had him flown by helicopter to the hospital where he was checked over, held overnight and released the next day with a massive headache and the broken collarbone.

The costs of this treatment? Total cost was $62,000.

The fifteen minute helicopter ride was $25,000. The two paramedics who flew in the helicopter with him, separate paramedics than the ones who attended at the accident scene, $800. For a fifteen minute flight.

Fortunately our friend had medical insurance and his broken collarbone has healed nicely.

However, thousands of people came to Washington, DC to protest President Obama’s move to create a healthcare system that people can afford without mortgaging their future? We just do not understand that.

Nobody should die because some bureaucrat denies them access to healthcare

From Twitter: “No one should die because of a bureaucrat’s decision, & U.S. shouldn’t go broke because liberals want to run health care.” We have taken the liberty to add the missing letters that make this message longer than 140 characters but the intent of the message is preserved.

Now could you also say that nobody should die because some bureaucrat decides that tens of millions of Americans should not have access to health care insurance? How many people die each and every day because they do not have the money to pay for the health care they need? How many people go bankrupt because of trying to pay for the health care their family members need?

And America should not go broke because “liberals” want to pay for health care? What about the billions upon billions of dollars that have been spent on the war in Iraq? Money spent by George W Bush, someone nobody would dare to call a liberal. Did those billions not lead the USA into debt?