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Doctor shortage highlighted by BC Greens in April 2022 by-election

Friday April 8, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC [Updated April 9, 2022]

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

A high profile issue for the BC Greens during the Vancouver-Quilchena byelection this month is health care. More specifically the doctor shortage in BC.

The current estimate is that 750,000 to 900,000 people don’t have a family doctor in BC. The estimate in the west shore area of Greater Victoria is a shortfall of about 30,000.

Wendy Halko is the BC Green candidate in the Vancouver-Quilchena byelection, April 2022.

BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau has called on the BC NDP government to address the family doctor shortage by overhauling what is generally considered to be an outdated primary care payment model. Family doctors are mostly paid on a per-visit basis regardless of how long or complex the patient visit is.

Shifting to primary care centers:

“Doctors are basically running a small business instead of putting their focus into caring for their community members. The current fee-for-service model is turning prospective doctors away from family practice and British Columbians are the ones bearing the burden. This government needs to explore models of practice that maintain or improve the current level of in-person, in-community care that doctors are providing,” says Furstenau.

Health Minister Adrian Dix has made it clear in the past that he is very much aware of the problem, indicating that many Urgent Primary Care Centers (UPCC) have opened in BC since the NDP government came to power in 2017. Today Dix confirmed that the Province is providing about $3.46 million in short-term stabilization funding to support five walk-in clinics on the south island: Esquimalt Medical Clinic; Shoreline Medical clinics in Brentwood Bay and Sidney; West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke; and West Saanich Medical Clinic.

Byelection April 30:

Wendy Hayko is the BC Green candidate in Vancouver-Quilchena (in the BC lower mainland area). Her campaign was launched today with party leader Furstenau at her side.

The byelection date is April 30, 2022. Hayko is new to politics and is primarily up against BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon as the candidate for that party in the riding. The NDP candidate is Jeanette Ashe. The candidate for the BC Libertarian Party is Sandra Filosof-Schipper. Dallas Brodie is the Conservative candidate. | Official Elections BC list of Vancouver-Quilcehna candidates. [Candidate deadline 1 pm April 9, 2022]

Byelections are generally seen as a temperature-check for political trends between elections.

===== RELATED:

Vancouver-Quilchena byelection called for April 30 (April 4, 2022)