It’s time to shift our healthcare priorities

Excruciating waiting lists demonstrate change is needed in the health care system in northwestern B.C. and Canada.

An upgraded Mills Memorial Hospital should also draw more medical professionals to Terrace B.C.

An upgraded Mills Memorial Hospital should also draw more medical professionals to Terrace B.C.

By Rod Taylor

Every one of us knows someone who has waited weeks, months or even years for a hip replacement or other surgery.

Occasionally, a patient dies while waiting for a treatment that never takes place. By the end of last year, 85,801 British Columbians were on waiting lists.

Today’s medical miracles and biotech accomplishments are nothing but wishful thinking if they are not linked in the real world to realistic timelines and budgets.

In B.C. and much of Canada, ideology has forged a cruel shackle preventing — in many cases — early treatment, and resulting in higher long-term costs.

Affordable and readily available healthcare is an area we all deem crucial and Canada’s generous public healthcare system allows all citizens to access healthcare regardless of economic status.

However, some citizens have access to diagnosis and treatment with shorter wait times than others. Some professional athletes, politicians, fast-tracked WorkSafeBC cases and even incarcerated criminals are permitted to jump the queue, not because they are more deserving but because they have access to private medical services which are unavailable to the rest of us.

We believe in the public funding of healthcare but also that competition should be permitted by private providers of services.

Slavish adherence to “one size fits all” public service provision keeps costs high and lines long.

Meanwhile, healthcare dollars are paying for the following procedures which treat no disease but undermine the very meaning of healthcare:

(1) Abortion, which kills half of those affected and wounds the other half, endangering the physical and mental health of the women subjected to it and exposing them to a greatly increased risk of breast cancer.

(2) Euthanasia and assisted suicide which end a life prematurely. How can these be considered healthcare?

Instead, we should be providing compassionate palliative care and comfort to the distressed.

(3) Gender reassignment surgery, which actually does not alter biological gender contained in DNA and does not fix any problem. Mental health problems continue and those who have undergone the procedure have a suicide rate 20 times that of the population at large!

(4) Drug injection sites which merely enable drug addiction and the mental illness which so often accompanies it.

We need to reopen safe recovery centres and treatment centres for mental health issues rather than normalizing drug abuse lifestyles on our city streets.

Further efficiencies could be achieved by fast-tracking the certification of foreign-trained doctors, making better use of existing diagnostic equipment like MRI machines — using shift work when necessary — and reducing the spread of disease by employing modern hospital design, particularly single-occupancy rooms.

We applaud the recent provincial budget announcement to cut MSP premiums in half beginning in 2018 and we support the complete elimination of MSP premiums in B.C.

The reinstatement of a small user fee for medical visits would be more appropriate, more affordable and more effective in encouraging responsible use of B.C.’s public health care system.

Bulkley Valley resident Rod Taylor is the national leader of the Christian Heritage Party of  Canada and the interim leader of the provincial CHP-BC. He’s also been the Christian Heritage Party’s Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidate in past federal elections.

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