Some stories are harder to hear than others
As the Legislative Assembly resumed this week, your stories were told.
Your voices were brought to Question Period, to try and get answers and improve the systems that are weak, crumbling, or in chaos.
This first week was an emotional one.
Hearing the stories of people being chased down the streets of Vancouver, prolific offenders committing crimes in Kelowna, or the way our healthcare system is failing people was hard.
But some stories are harder than others to hear.
Earlier this week, a mother’s story of miscarriage in Penticton General Hospital was revealed.
Reading it brought tears to my eyes, and indignation to my stomach.
She was all alone, in an emergency room bathroom, delivering her son.
Later, she was all alone in a room, delivering the afterbirth and being told to go home.
No check, no observation. What about a DNC? What if she had haemorrhaged?
For those of us who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, hearing stories of others brings back those memories and feelings.
That was me this week.
Bringing this forward into the Legislative Assembly was difficult.
Our Health Critic Shirley Bond was so eloquent, compassionate, and thoughtful in her question to the Minister of Health.
I sat in my seat behind her with tears flooding my eyes, remembering the babies I had lost in miscarriage.
How? How could this happen in BC? How could the system be so broken?
In speaking with countless doctors and nurses from across BC, they are committed and passionate about the health and wellness of British Columbians.
But they have been sounding the alarm bell for years – the system isn’t allowing them to do their jobs.
And their job is to care for us, and help keep us alive.
This week Mo Amir, host of the CHEK TV show ‘This is VANCOLOUR’, did a segment with Andrea Woo on the state of gynaecological care in BC right now.
After a routine Pap smear, it could be 6 months before diagnosis and surgery.
When Andrea Woo was asked if people were dying on waitlists, she responded, “Yes”.
Unfortunately, people need family doctors to even have these tests performed.
We know already that one million BC residents are without a family doctor, and one million more are on waitlists for specialist care, so that means that one million British Columbians could be even farther away from a diagnosis, or be in later stages when they finally are diagnosed.
The fact is that we are getting sicker while we wait, which is why our hospitals are overloaded.
So this first week of the fall session, our BC Liberal caucus got back to the work of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and asked the government for answers.
We brought your stories, your voices, your issues to the House and pressed government to do better.
And we allowed the emotion of our own stories of loss, illness, and issues to embolden the stories of others we brought forward.
Things have to change.
My question to you this week is actually more of a request:
Is there a story about our healthcare system, housing affordability, public safety, or inflation that you want me to bring forward in Victoria?
I love hearing from you, and I read every email.
Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.