October 1, 2023


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SOUND OFF: The NDP’s healthcare failure

Image: Interior Health / File

By Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap

Sound Off

Aug 3, 2023 | 4:02 PM

Despite countless alarms raised by doctors, nurses, patients, and BC United MLAs, the NDP government under Health Minister Adrian Dix has failed to deliver meaningful solutions, leaving more and more British Columbians without family doctors and our hospitals facing closures and staffing shortages. Statistics aside, a simple look at our healthcare system paints a glaring picture of one that is breaking apart every day that goes by under NDP leadership, regardless of the hard work and dedication of thousands of healthcare workers every day.

The Shuswap General Hospital, a lifeline for our community, remains in jeopardy, plagued by chronic underfunding and poor prioritization. Disturbingly, we have only six physicians handling emergency and critical care services at the hospital 24/7. Last fall, the facility faced such overwhelming strain that it risked discontinuing these essential ICU services altogether, posing grave risks to patient safety. I echoed the troubling concerns brought to light by the head of the internal medicine department Dr. Scott McKee in my previous column, who outlined these challenges to Salmon Arm council, but the Minister of Health has been nowhere to be seen. Minister Dix has been ignoring my request to meet with him for months, despite making a commitment to have a conversation about these health care issues impacting the Shuswap.

The situation in Shuswap is not an isolated incident but a reflection of a broader crisis gripping our province’s health care system. Healthcare workers across British Columbia are battling low morale, while nurses are leaving due to overwhelming challenges and inadequate support. In fact, healthcare workers who dare to speak out about the inadequacies of the NDP’s healthcare system do so anonymously due to fear of repercussions. This culture of silence within our healthcare system speaks volumes about the government’s failure to listen to those on the front lines. Infrastructure erosion, insufficient training and storage, and infection control issues further compound the crisis.

The NDP government’s failure to address these pressing concerns is evident in its lack of funding and prioritization for the region, as seen, for example, with the cancellation of a 2017 modernization plan presented to Interior Health by medical staff, clearly contributes to the current state we find our health care system in. Urban centres face similar issues, such as at the Surrey Memorial Hospital, where cries from healthcare workers, patients and community leaders for more resources have been dismissed by the government.