The leader of B.C.'s Liberal party believes the province's health care system is not only crumbling, it's at risk of imploding upon itself.
Kevin Falcon interviewed, during a visit to Fort St. John July 28, stated he's more concerned than ever before over its current status.
“What I care about is a health care system that works and is delivering for patients,” he said.
Responding to a question over private versus public health care, and the highly-publicized court case challenge by a Vancouver doctor over the current formula, Falcon quickly pointed out it's nothing new.
“Don't get caught up in the myth. We've always had a two-tiered health care system. It's called a plane ticket,” he said to the Alaska Highway News.
“Believe me, people with money are flying and they're getting health care around the world. Down south, India, China, you name it. So, it's already been happening.”
If chosen in 2024, or whenever the next election is called, he said his government will “innovate like crazy” under what, he called, a universally publicly-funded system.
“Our entire dental system is delivered privately and I note with more efficiency than the public system that we have right now,” he added.
“I just want to make sure we focus on the best interests of patients, and I am open to absolutely all ideas how we can deliver better services.”
The party's current health care critic is northern MLA and former interim party leader Shirley Bond.
Like in her home community of Prince George, Bond heard the same concerns throughout the Liberal's road show to the Northeast.
“The lack of physicians. The lack of locums, so that physicians can get the opportunity to care for themselves,” she said.
“That's why we've proposed a 30-day action plan to the (current) government – here are some important steps you can take. We have heard nothing back.”
While not a quick fix, Bond feels it all begins with primary care.
“We need to make sure British Columbians have access to a family physician. So, it starts with not only recruiting but training more doctors. There's a whole bunch of things this government should be taking action on.”
The Liberals will have the chance the debate this issue, and other concerns they heard during their tour of the Peace Country, when MLAs return to the legislature Oct. 3.