For immediate release
November 28, 2022
VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the BC NDP government to provide clear, consistent, and accurate information to parents while taking steps to reduce the burden of illness in B.C.
“We acknowledge and applaud the BC NDP government for streamlining the process for accreditation of foreign-trained doctors,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley and leader of the BC Greens. “This is a positive step, and a recognition of the efforts, talents,and cultural knowledge of the 1,000 foreign-trained doctors currently in B.C. who have been unable to practice.
“While this government is making announcements to address specific issues, the reality is that we are in the midst of overlapping crises in our healthcare system, and what’s required of this government is leadership and a clear vision for healthcare that functions for British Columbians and for healthcare professionals.
“Currently the most pressing issue is the level of illness amongst children in B.C., and the dire conditions in pediatric hospitals. Since becoming Premier a week and a half ago, David Eby has not directly addressed the situation in B.C.’s hospitals being overwhelmed with sick children. News stories point to long waits in ERs, and canceled surgeries for children. No amount of spin from this government will provide comfort to these children or their parents.
The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the NDP government to:
- Provide up to date and accurate data on absences in schools, as Alberta is doing. Promised by Minister Whiteside almost a year ago.
- Provide accurate occupancy data in children’s hospitals, based on budgeted beds, not physical beds.
- Commit to testing children who present to hospital so that there is accurate clinical evaluation and data on illnesses.
- Immediately begin installing air filtration units in every classroom in B.C. as we are seeing in Toronto.
“Once again, we also call on this government to respond to the situation in children’s hospitals and bring in a mask mandate for public spaces, transit, and schools until the pressures on the health care system have eased and children are assured of getting the care they need, when they need it.
“With more than a five billion dollar surplus, surely the BC NDP government can address the crisis in hospitals, guarantee children have the care they need, and take proactive steps to ensure that classrooms in B.C. have clean air.”
“In British Columbia, we are watching this tidal wave of pediatric respiratory disease come from east to west,” said Dr Sanjiv Gandhi, Pediatric Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon, BC Children’s Hospital. “We have an overburdened and understaffed healthcare system. BC is pretending that the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences are behind us, and has eliminated basic public health measures (prevention, testing, and isolation) which were so important two short years ago. These are contributing to the crisis we are in right now. Continued lack of transparency, defensive excuses, and apathy will only result in many more very sick children.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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