Friday, May 1, 2015

Health Issues on the mind of MLA Rice this week at Legislature

A pair of issues related to health services in the province were raised this week at the BC Legislature by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, with transportation options and access to specialized services key among her discussion points for this weeks sessions.

Monday, Ms. Rice was focusing on the theme of travel issues for residents of the riding, highlighting the unworkable logistics of travel that many in the region face. 

I'll share with you a phone call I received from a physician in Prince Rupert. He pleaded with me because his patients that live in Haida Gwaii were neglecting their medical appointments in Prince Rupert due to the cuts to the ferry schedule that meant they would now have to take a whole week off work, spend a whole week in a hotel and find the money for a week of meals and local transportation costs and child care. 

So many of them were no longer going to their physician in Prince Rupert because it was a huge financial burden to make that appointment. Now, the ferry fare was covered, but none of the other expenses were covered. Because the schedule is so reduced, it's not feasible for them to actually go to a medical appointment where normally they could return in a day or two. -- Jennifer Rice on Health travel issues on the North Coast.

At the end of her exchange with Liberal MLA Mike Bernier, the North Coast MLA offered up the request that the Provincial government re-evaluate it's travel assistance policy.

You can review the full range of her discussion points on travel from Monday's archive starting at the 10:50 mark.

On Tuesday morning, Ms. Rice followed up on some of the debate related to access to specialists and lengthy wait times for British Columbians. Providing some background to the situation facing one resident of the province in the southern interior, part of what the MLA called a pattern in the health care system.

Fred's story doesn't just expose a troubling pattern of British Columbians going to the media to get the help that they need. His story also exposes a big gap in our health care system — access to specialists for people from small-town British Columbia. Before Fred was waiting for a call from the Cancer Agency, he was waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist. He waited for six months. Does the Health Minister think this is good enough?

The full debate related to access of specialists can be reviewed from the Tuesday archive starting at the 1020 mark.

You can review more of the North Coast MLA's work in Victoria from our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment