B.C. has a growing crisis that needs immediate attention.
On almost a daily basis, I see inquires on our local social media pages for residents looking for a doctor.
The past few years has seen an increased strain on our doctors and nurses, who have been stretched beyond their limits, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with burnout, retirement, wait times sky rocketing and medical clinics shutting down - access to primary healthcare - in a timely fashion - is in serious jeopardy.
This week, I received an email from a local family doctor who has been practicing in Ladner since 2002.
For 20 years, she says she has had the privilege to be part of this community, to be part of her patients’ lives helping to navigate them through their life and medical challenges.
Now she says that is all in peril as she has realized that Family Medicine is on life support and may simply not survive.
Almost 900,000 residents in this province do not have a family doctor. That number continues to grow every day.
I myself, just recently found a family doctor – in Port Coquitlam – where I had a family doctor years ago. He retired and I moved to the Sunshine Coast where I resided for 12 years as editor of the Coast Reporter. I didn’t have a family doctor on the Sunshine Coast.
Fast forward to today and living in Delta, I had no luck getting a doctor here, so I took a chance and lucky for me, my former clinic had a doctor accepting patients.
I’m fortunate because I can drive out of my community to get healthcare. Many in our community do not have that luxury.
We need government action now to ensure that all British Columbians can receive the care that they need and deserve.