Building won’t solve doctor shortage

Building won’t solve doctor shortage

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Editor:

In the wake of the government’s announcement that a new tower will be built to add to Interior Health’s buildings portfolio, something magical has happened. There is no doctor shortage.

If Health Minister Terry Lake didn’t say anything, then it surely can’t be true. What’s even better?

If there ever was a doctor shortage, it will be fixed by 2022 when the new tower is completed. Kamloops will have a large influx of doctors. If you build it they will come.

And no doctor shall retire before that time? Probably not a good idea to get sick either. Magical.

So do not fear if you have no doctor. They will come when the great new landmark is completed and all shall be saved. And you will have a private room, too. What great screenplay. And the NDP will support this proposal if elected. 

Can it get any better? Reality has no place in the mind of a politician.

Dan Perry
Kamloops

17 COMMENTS

    • This is just a gambit, a worm on a fish hook used by the right wingers in Victoria who call themselves “Liberal” to steal another election.. If the people in Victoria cared about your health and public healthcare they would have been the most vicious attack dog on this planet when Harper ended the transfer payments to the provinces for healthcare.

      The attack dogs were out long ago, snarling at Tommy Douglas to prevent the emergence of universal public Medicare. They, from the get go, have done everything to undermine it including eliminating the transfer payments which allowed for enforcement of standards that protected the one payer system against privatization.

      Medicare’s enemies, like the Trumps in Victoria including Terry Lake, have always recognized the critical role of conditional federal cash transfers in maintaining the integrity of the system. Eliminating the conditional cash transfers, the enemies of public healthcare know that it would eventually crumble. The Liberals in Victoria are doing everything from unfair taxes, user fees, privatization outsourcing, to help it die. The terry’s of the world will tell us look it was not me I built you a tower.

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      • Might want to recheck your alt-facts. Harper kept the payments going with the same 6% growth rate that Martin put in place & extended it. After that agreement it was tied to economic growth. Your Liberals have now been in power for awhile and in the process of their second budget. There has been enough time for your drama teacher to bring them back if your alt-facts were true which they are not.

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  1. Dab, instead of blindly criticizing something, here’s a thought…in your next LTTE, could YOU please outline your strategy & plans to attract doctors here, there or anywhere they are presently needed. We’ll wait patiently. Personally I just can’t believe there are those trashing a half billion dollar addition to our hospital…and that WILL attract doctors here….bet on it.

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    • There are simple steps to a strategy that will attract docs:

      1) kill Ajax. We can say we will not add to the already-poor air quality of the city

      2) lift completely or raise quotas on what doctors can bill per day and per patient. As the population ages, not all patients get the care they need with “only one medical concern per visit.”

      3) change the billing structure. You would get rid of dozens of useless bureaucrats who do nothing but check and audit physician billings. You would pay doctors faster than currently waiting more than three months to get fees paid by the government, take the expense out of the physicians’ offices. They pay for staff who do nothing but handle the complex codes and billing system the government has created.

      4) Hire more doctors on a salary basis. A very, very lucrative salary – more than what doctors make through billing – will save millions of dollars in the system per year. Currently doctors claim best-practises for lab and diagnostic tests but in many cases it’s to increase their income that has been capped at the patient end. Instead, they drive up costs for the system in order to top up their income in a way the system allows.

      5) hire a corps of doctors to do on call in small communities. Docs love working in small communities but they burn out working practically 24/7 and have to leave.

      These are simple sounding fixes, but they more complex to implement. Nonetheless, if we did this there would be much fewer lines at walk in clinics.

      But to really respond to you Snuffy, it’s not Mr Perry’s responsibility to have a strategy it is Terry Lake’s and IHA’s strategy – and they have failed in flying colours. Lake is far too concerned with appearing to do things and with his legacy to fix the issues that HE AND HIS GOVERNMENT PROMISED to fix. If you want to be snippy about strategy, why have you not asked him this question?

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    • Large corporations and ultra wealthy individuals theoretically pay 35% in taxes, but in reality from 17% to zero, compared to 50% and 91% respectively, in 1960. Today, the federal government borrows from these two extremely affluent groups instead of taxing excessive wealth. The public pays them back, plus interest ~ an arrangement that fosters income inequality, concentration of wealth, federal debt and deficits. Why not reform the tax code? Concentrated wealth buys political influence to dictate tax policy. This would go a long way of financing healthcare.

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  2. New tower will be built, no new doctors will come, IHA will reno the tower to hold more offices, new admins will flock in to kamloops at even greater cost to our health system. IHA will declare the tower a success, and want to build more. Meanwhile, even fewer people will have a doctor.

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  3. Very true Grouchy….The Liberals have put Health Care in Kamloops and the Province into a bureaucratic nightmare! Family moved to Saskatoon and had a Doctor within a month! No shortage there it seems but maybe the System is better? The Liberals are monument builders and have no inclination, how or will, to change a broken system in Kamloops and again just trying to buy the voters! Look out….all the money (probably your hard earned tax dollars) will be thrown at ads to sway you into thinking, lol that they are actually going to do what they have promised for the last ….at least 8 YEARS! Oh and don’t count on it!

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    • RIH used to have over 400 beds for patients. IHA systematically kept closing them for no good reason till RIH was down to around 200 beds. Then IHA had the ( not so ) bright idea that co-ed wards were the way to solve the problem. Extremely bad idea privacy wise for patients. I do believe that RIH now has two floors ( top two ) dedicated to office space, these floors used to hold beds. Getting rid of these useless health ” authorities ” would free up millions & millions of dollars for health care , and make room for a lot more beds without building towers that will look pretty, but sit empty.

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  4. I have a ninety year old neighbor, his doctor retired and now he has to rely on a clinic. He has trouble getting around and standing for any length of time. This government needs to stop all its posturing and actually do something about the shortage of doctors here. We need less administrators and more staff who actually work, not just trot around with a clipboard looking important.

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    • If you look at the statistics, life expectancy, infant mortality, physicians and nurses per 1000, per capita expenditure on health, health cost as percentage of GDP, and health cost paid by government some interesting results emerge.

      My neighbor was raised in Sweden and she tells me that our hospitals cannot hold a candle to the Swedish ones as far as care and cleanliness is concerned. Her brother-in-law came for a visit this summer and he works for a government food facility that provides meals for the elderly who are encouraged to remain in independent living. He said that they have three categories of care for seniors–full care, assisted care and independent . They provide meals for each group on a daily basis and they have care aids that make daily visits to assist with shopping , medication and other needs of those who live in assisted and independent facilities or homes.

      Swedish child mortality is half ours, life expectancy is same as ours, number of doctors and nurses per 1000 is higher than ours, per capita expenditure on health is lower than ours, health cost as percentage of GDP is lower than ours, government revenue spent on healthcare is lower than ours and percentage of health costs paid by government is higher than ours. The countries with the highest private expenditure on healthcare have the worst healthcare outcomes. Why? Private costs eat up care.

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  5. This is not about health care. This is about awarding lucrative contracts to developers. Developers are the largest group that contribute to the BC Liberal Party. Resourse developers are second.

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  6. Little late on commenting on this issue, but when and if this tower is built, where are the vehicles going to be parked. Good comment from Mr. Lodmell in regards to the fact that the new North Shore Clinic is dedicated to seniors. Do we also have one on the South Shore for Seniors, if where is it? In regards to doctors, I know that they have heavy case loads and each patient is worth money, however, it would be wonderful, if doctors would spend more than 5-10 minutes with each patient. Seems like an assembly line mentality.

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  7. We have heard nothing but lip service from Terry Lake. The most laughable was a couple years ago when he announced that Kamloops was getting 6 maybe 7 new Physicians. The number was under 10 but he struggled with an actual number. In that same announcement he failed to account for the near twice that many Physicians that were either moving their practices out of Kamloops or retiring. Net gain… less Physicians.

    But I’m sure a new building will help the health crisis.

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  8. The problem is the government run medical system. Privatize the system and the market will meet the needs of patients better than faceless government committees. How many decades have we have widespread rationing and doctor shortages?

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