January 23, 2018

UPDATES: Doctor questions BC’s spending priorities

Ongoing overcrowding at hospitals across British Columbia again have emergency room doctors questioning the priorities of the provincial government.

Doctor David Haughton, who’s the President of the BC Medical Association’s Emergency Medicine section, admits it’s frustrating to see money being spent on hosting next month’s Times of India Film Awards and next year’s Grey Cup.
“Well, yeah, and the 16-million to advertise what wonderful job they’re doing with the jobs. I think the last time we had the campaign, we were watching the 453-million dollar new roof of the coliseum or  BC Place. So, yeah, it is a bit frustrating.”

Speaking with CKNW’s Simi Sara, Haughton, who works at BC Children’s Hospital,  says emergency room doctors have been forced into publicly campaigning for urgent improvements because pleas being made behind closed doors are not being answered.

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, who’s also a doctor and former BCMA President, says she understands Haughton’s frustrations, but she believes spending money promoting events like the Grey Cup will boost the overall economy.

“There are initiatives that happen outside of the Ministry of Health that we believe have significant economic benefit. That helps us to fund health care. I really don’t agree with the notion that every penny of money that’s available should all go into the health care system.”

As for ongoing demands to reduce overcrowding and other problems, MacDiarmid says more than 400-million dollars has been spent improving emergency wards across the province and funding for community care has been boosted to prevent so-called “bed blockers”.

CKNW Vancouver News

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