Dangers could be coming to Canada’s already damaged healthcare system

Kamloops hosted a panel of healthcare workers to speak about current threats facing patients and Medicare workers

While a two-tiered system wouldn’t exactly be like U.S. healthcare, patients would be able to receive prompt care from private clinics if they possess the funds. (Images Money/Flickr)

Risks are out there for Canada’s Healthcare system. That’s what residents of Kamloops, municipal candidates and members of the TRU community heard in the St. Andrews on the Square in downtown Kamloops on Oct. 11.

A panel of speakers borrowed an hour and a half of the communities time on Thursday evening to talk about current happenings in the world of healthcare such as privatized, for-profit clinics, the overcharging of patients and controversial actions being currently taken to make these a new norm.

The panel opened with Barb Nederpel from the Hospital Employees Union, who spoke passionately and gave a review of Canada’s health care system and it’s history before and after legislative movements such as Bill 29 that saw the layoff of many healthcare workers, mostly women and caused significant impact to patient care.

Speaker Colleen Fuller spent most of her time addressing the threat of privatized treatment, stressing that wait times in BC and in Canada were too big of an issue to overlook and that change to this wasn’t happening fast enough.

Fuller expressed that wealth shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to medical care as it does in the United States, saying patients shouldn’t be able to jump the queue by emptying their wallets while others are moved to the bottom of the list.

The panelists took a considerable amount of time to address current events surrounding Dr. Brian Day, an orthopaedic surgeon that is actively taking on the Supreme Court to replace the current single-tiered Medicare system in B.C. in favour for a hybrid system and further access to private, wealth determining healthcare.

Day’s campaign has stirred up controversy in the Medicare world, with many like Fuller explaining that these actions are not viable solutions to the current problems British Columbian’s face when it comes to their healthcare.

“Day is on a crusade to destroy the healthcare system,” Fuller said in front of the group gathered at St. Andrews.

While the rest of the panel was spent reviewing and expressing personal and professional opinions on the Day case, it left much to be desired when it came to solutions that British Columbians can seek out in regards to fixing issues in our healthcare system.

The panel ended in a question and answer period and a plea from panelists that urged attendees to do their research on where the direction of B.C.’s health care system is going, to read Day’s transcript from the court and to vote for more favourable and respectful Medicare policies.