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Mother and Daughter

Health Care

Our healthcare system needs help. We keep dumping money in and nothing seems to change. From a shortage of staff and beds in hospitals right to a shortage of family doctors and over 1 year waiting lists to see some specialists.

Long Wait Times

If you compare wait times with Sweden which consistently ranks high in health outcomes, with a long life expectancy and a relatively low infant mortality rate to Canada, including British Columbia, we also enjoy a high life expectancy and low infant mortality rate and the population generally enjoys good health.

Wait times for surgeries and specialists in Sweden can vary depending on the region and the specific procedure. On average, for non-urgent surgeries, the wait times can range from a few weeks to a few months. However, for urgent or life-threatening cases, patients are prioritized and receive prompt care. As an example Hip Replacement Surgery (Sweden): The average wait time for a hip replacement surgery in Sweden can be around 2-4 months for non-urgent cases. Hip Replacement Surgery in British Columbia, the average wait time for a hip replacement surgery can also range from 2-6 months for non-urgent cases. Cataract Surgery (Sweden): Wait times for cataract surgery in Sweden are generally shorter, with an average wait time of 1-2 months. Cataract Surgery in British Columbia, the average wait time for cataract surgery can be 3-6 months, depending on the region.

One of the most pressing problems in BC's healthcare system is long wait times for medical services. Patients often have to wait months for specialist consultations and even longer for surgical procedures. This prolonged waiting can lead to worsened health conditions, increased suffering, and decreased overall quality of life.

Solution: Keeping in mind that we do not have unlimited resources (money) BC must carefully invest in expanding healthcare infrastructure and hiring more healthcare professionals, including specialists. Additionally, properly implementing innovative technologies, like telemedicine, can help reduce wait times and improve access to care, especially in remote areas. As difficult as it is to wait we need to understand that there are no perfect answers to this challenge. We do not have the resources to simply fix everything; currently we are spending about 28.6 billion a year, over a third of our provincial budget. That works out to about 8,800 dollars per person. Compare that to Sweden at about 7,416 dollars. There are obviously differences in the 2 areas but we might want to do a deep dive into how Sweden handles some things and see if we can find ways to improve and save some money here.

Physician Shortages

British Columbia is experiencing a shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly family physicians and specialists. This scarcity limits access to primary care and specialized treatments, leaving many residents without a regular healthcare provider.

Solution: Firstly hire back the professionals we got rid of because of vaccination requirements. Just an update the vaccinations weren’t all that they were purported to be so let’s face the current reality and do the right thing, this posturing to try and make it look like it was a good idea to get rid of people who didn’t get vaccinated is getting old. BC should consider strategies to attract and retain healthcare professionals, such as offering incentives like loan forgiveness, provided that the physician signs a contract to work in an area that has a shortage of Doctors and that there is a minimum time commitment, increasing residency positions, and creating mentorship programs for medical students. Encouraging collaborative care models with nurse practitioners and physician assistants can also alleviate physician shortages. I believe we would benefit from looking at other countries to see how some of these strategies worked in the real world not just how they look on paper. Knee jerk solutions to problems are not the way to go here. We just banned plastic straws and now we are hearing studies that say the paper replacements are more toxic for the environment than the plastic straws we banned. Doing something just for the sake of looking busy is not a winning strategy. We have way too much of that type of thinking with our current Governments, this needs to change.

Mental Health and Addiction Services

Mental health and addiction services in BC are struggling to keep up with the growing demand. The opioid crisis has highlighted the need for more comprehensive and accessible mental health and addiction support.

Solution: We need to look at what is causing this. I believe that a large part of it may be traced back to the erosion of the family unit. Children that have 2 parents at home seem to have better outcomes in almost all areas of life. I believe that we need to encourage families in crisis to seek help. Encouraging people to belong to social groups that can help support them and their families won’t fix everything but it might start slowing down the proliferation of single parent families that make it difficult for both the children and the parents to live stable, fulfilled lives. We need to help people that want our help. I know this may sound heartless but there are people out there that don’t want to be helped we need to focus our energy and our LIMITED resources on those that can be helped. We will need to improve our addiction services but we will also need to make sure that people that are convicted of crimes that have addiction problems are given an opportunity to “get clean” . However this needs to be limited in scope we do not have the resources to send these individuals to rehab 10 times. Some studies indicate that relapse for most people happens a couple times however some continue far more times than that. So as part of the justice system let’s look at limiting rehab as an option to 2 or 3 attempts and then that is it. BC could invest heavily in mental health and addiction services, ensuring that they are integrated into the broader healthcare system; this is one option however we need to take a very close look at what the outcomes will be. If we have learned anything over the years it is that throwing money at problems doesn’t necessarily fix them.

Aging Population

BC's aging population poses a significant challenge to its healthcare system. As people age, they typically require more medical care and support, putting pressure on an already strained system.

Solution: BC must develop a comprehensive strategy for elderly care, including investments in long-term care facilities, home care services, and geriatric specialists. Promoting healthy aging through preventive measures can also reduce the burden on the healthcare system.

 

 We will need to ask our residents how they want to prioritize what we spend our money on. There is only so much of it and we have infrastructure, policing, social programs, etc. that all require attention and funding. There is only one tax payer and they can only be squeezed so hard before they break and decide it is too much. Once they decide to take their ball and go home the Game is over.

Remember it isn’t a game !! It is about our standard of living and the future for our children. Lets make sure we do right by them, after all they will be the ones making decisions about how we are taken care of when we are old let’s make sure they like us then.

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