Still no plans to expand oversight with transparency and accountability.
VICTORIA — Long lines and mounting wait times for service outside walk-in clinics has become frustrating. Stressed out health-care workers all over the province and the firing of thousands more based on a medical status.
Premier John Horgan doesn’t dispute the mounting evidence of a health-care system that’s not working as it should for patients and practitioners alike.
“We are in a health-care crisis,” he conceded to reporters on Thursday. “It’s not just doctors. It’s nurse practitioners. It’s registered nurses. It’s care aides. It’s the continuum of care. We need more social workers. We need more psychologists.
“As we address decades of neglect of mental health issues, we need more health-care professionals to address those challenges.”
When asked what could be done, Horgan believes the one solution that should be befor all others is “we need a massive infusion of cash from Ottawa,” he told reporters.
“The federal government needs to get in the game right now and put in place the funding formula we’ll need to increase funding over time so that we can have a human resource strategy to bring in more nurse practitioners so that we can alleviate the doctor shortage.”
“I’ve been arguing as the leader of the Council of the Federation with the federal government that we need a massive infusion of cash from Ottawa to deliver our public health care programs here in Canada.”
“When the program started it was a 50-50 proposition — the feds put in 50 per cent, the provinces put in 50 per cent. … It’s about 80-20 now with 80 per cent falling to the provinces.”
Horgan acknowledge the 100,000 new comers that moved in to B.C. last year puts a strain on our health care system.
Horgan said in 2018 that Ottawa should “first get back to a more equal distribution of resources” for existing health-care programs in response to proposals for a national pharmacare program.
He feels the same way about the recent commitment to a national dental care program.
“Do I think it would be grand to have a national dental care plan? Absolutely,” the premier said during an interview on Sunday with Rosemary Barton on CBC Newsworld.
“But I think we need to start with first principles, and that is stable funding so that we can do the hip replacements, we can have a human resource strategy for our primary care sector.
“Every part of the country is struggling under the weight of not having enough people, whether they’re nurses, nurse practitioners, care aides, doctors.
“We need to address that, not by starting up a new national program, but by focusing on stabilizing the national program that all of us as Canadians are so proud of, and that’s our health-care system.”
Horgan’s view fly’s in the face of the federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who has been patting himself on the back about national dental care as one of the accomplishments of his four-year “not a coalition” agreement with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I appreciate that Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau came to an arrangement between their two caucuses about how they would proceed,” said Horgan.
“I took great comfort in the fact that although they highlighted pharmacare and dental care, they both said that we needed a sustainable funding model going forward for all of the other services that Canadians depend on.”
All the premiers are “of one mind on this,” he continued.
“We know that the federal government wants to work with us. We want to work with them, but we have got to get to the table.”
Although Trudeau keeps saying he will provide sustainable funding for health care, it comes with string attached, so Ottawa can point to results to justify the increased spending. Mean while the federal budget 2022 didn’t look promising making the provinces are skeptical.
The Premiers were refused advanced briefing on the details.
They were individually and collectively refused an advance briefing on the contents. Only to find out later on budget day there had been no movement on the sought-after permanent increase in federal transfers for health care.
Barton asked if he knew how the national dental care program would work “That’s going to take some time to figure out,” said Horgan adding “But we need to make sure that we fully understand the federal government does not deliver services. The provinces do.”
“In order for us to have an effective national dental plan, it’s going to be delivered by provinces. So, we need to sit down and figure out how we’re going to pay for that over the long term.
“This isn’t a jurisdictional squabble,” as some people would be lead to believe but this is the way Canada’s governments were designed to work.