doctor
(Pixabay photo)

How will Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates attract and keep family doctors?

We sent MLA candidates your election questions. Here's what we heard.
October 16, 2020

How will Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates attract and keep family doctors? That’s a question we at The Discourse heard from you after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat of the election conversation because we believe you should guide it, not the candidates or parties.

Leading up to the election we are publishing answers to questions you sent. Today, the question is : What is your party’s plan to attract and keep family physicians in practice in
communities like Esquimalt?

As of Oct. 14, The Discourse received answers from two of the four candidates via email. BC Liberal Party candidate RJ Senko will not be responding to questions due to his full schedule, according to a spokesperson from the BC Liberal team. The Discourse reached out to Independent candidate Desta McPherson over Facebook – since no other contact information could be found – but has not heard back yet. This story will be updated if additional responses come in.

I’ll be rotating the candidates’ order of responses with each story we publish. Here are their responses. I’ve copied them directly from the emails they sent.

Andy MacKinnon, BC Green Party

We know that the South Island can be a preferred destination for family physicians from across Canada and beyond. We should formally establish a goal of having an available family physician for everyone who wants/needs one. And then we should enact policy to move towards that goal, which will include training more physicians in our province and examining in detail the factors (compensation, working hours, living and working expenses) limiting the attractiveness of our area for family physicians.

Mitzi Dean, BC New Democratic Party

Last month we announced a new urgent primary care centre will open in Esquimalt next spring. It will open first in a temporary location until a permanent location can be secured. The centre will help provide medical services right in the community, attach people to doctors, and help take the pressure off emergency rooms. 

By expanding primary care networks, we will be able to deliver more personalized care. Many are already in place around the province.  We’re also launching B.C.’s second medical school to expand our health care workforce. This means more doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and other health professionals trained, graduating and working right here in B.C.

A comprehensive health care human resources strategy will soon be underway that will include credential recognition. From doctors and nurses to long-term care aides, we will make sure B.C. is well-prepared to deal with future demand and pressures. In addition to expanding training in all fields of health care, we’ll be improving the province’s credential recognition process and licensing so that people trained in other countries can provide their skills and knowledge here in B.C.

Further reading:

  • Health Care is one of the “commitments” highlighted in the BC NDP platform, which can be viewed online.
  • The BC Liberal Platform which was recently released details a plan to improve access to health care. 
  • The BC Green Party also recently released its platform, which lists “comprehensive healthcare” as one of the key points in it.
  • Shortly after calling the election, the topic of health care was discussed in the North Vancouver-Lonsdale riding, as reported by the Vancouver Sun