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Doerkson: Health care crisis deepens in our province

Lorne Doerkson’s column to the Free Press
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)

It’s officially fall in the Cariboo. That means Thanksgiving is just around the corner and our local farmers’ markets are full of delicious fresh produce to fill your plate for your holiday meal. I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, one full of family and friends.

In addition to enjoying the holiday and the change of season here at home, October for me means the start of the fall sitting of the Legislature. I look forward to being back in Victoria and holding the government to account after their summer of inaction.

Over the past few months, we have watched the health care crisis deepen in our province. Far too many British Columbians continue to struggle to access the health care they need. Whether it’s an ambulance, a family doctor, emergency medical care or cancer treatment a patient is seeking — the process of getting care is still far from easy.

The latest group to sound the alarm on our crumbling health care system is the B.C. Radiological Society, which wrote to Health Minister Adrian Dix to warn about a possible ‘tsunami of cancer cases’ that will overwhelm B.C. if the government doesn’t act immediately to address the delay in access to medical imaging. Right now, British Columbians are dealing with longer waits for diagnoses, specialist referrals, surgeries, treatments, cancer care and so much more.

People are rightfully frustrated with the state of health care, but unfortunately, it is only one of many pressing issues facing our province that this government must answer for.

Communities across B.C. continue to deal with increasingly violent incidents on our streets as repeat offenders commit crime sprees with virtually no consequences. Recently, the government released some of the results of a report on violent crime in the province. Not only was the report delayed by weeks, but it also completely missed the mark and all but excused the behaviour of people who harm innocent victims. We will be asking the government serious questions about their response because, after five years of David Eby and the NDP’s catch-and-release approach, there is no reason to believe this government can take the action needed to improve public safety.

The seeming lack of action on these critical issues is even more concerning when you think about the fact that the government is sitting on billions of taxpayer dollars in surpluses and contingencies, instead of using them to help people. With inflation and the rising cost of necessities like gas and groceries, people are under more strain than ever — and they want to see real relief.

I can guarantee you that I will spend my time in Victoria calling on the government to invest in support for both the people of this province and the systems they depend on. It’s time for real action.

Lorne Doerkson is the BC Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding

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