The federal government recently announced a deal that would provide the province of British Columbia a new influx of health care dollars.
This was the long anticipated announcement, with the Premier having staked a great deal of hope in this new funding.
While more money from the Ottawa may seem like good news for those who rely on the healthcare system, the reality is that the actual amount allocated is not nearly enough to make a significant impact.
$600 million new healthcare dollars a year, or approximately $110 per resident.
Simply put, it’s a small fraction of what is actually needed to properly fund healthcare in BC.
Additional health care dollars are required for family practice and primary care, with the new funding model.
There’s also a serious need in mental health and addictions, in emergency rooms, operating rooms and hospitals, and finally surgical wait lists and diagnostics.
Here’s some added perspective.
This $600 million in additional health care transfer is equivalent to the cost overruns that the NDP government has incurred at the new Cowichan Hospital that is currently being built.
This is due, in part, to the NDP’s ‘Community Benefits Agreement’ (CBA) that requires only unionized construction workers being allowed to work on provincial job sites, which causes delay and construction costs to skyrocket.
Here’s the real kicker. This same CBA agreement is keeping the Cowichan Tribes and their construction firms from working on the very hospital that is being built on their lands.
Imagine that. So much for reconciliation and UNDRIP.
So as you can see, the CBA, the delay, the higher construction costs amounts to a $600 million overrun out of a $1.4 billion build.
The project costs have gone up by almost 80%.
With the $600 million already gone, BC is back at square one.
We need to understand that the federal government is not the solution for our province’s healthcare crisis. The solutions have to be found in greater efficiencies, and in better management.
In better governance.
My question to you is this: What do you think that the government should do now that the feds have given their answer on healthcare funding?
I love hearing from you, and I read every email I receive.
Email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@gov.bc.ca or call my office at 250-712-3620.