Provincial NDP health critic Judy Darcy spoke to residents Saturday in Comox.

Health critic discusses privatization, MSP

  • Mar. 17, 2017 3:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

From primary to residential care, provincial NDP health critic Judy Darcy offered up her party’s stance on the challenges of health care for B.C. residents Saturday in Comox.

During a health care forum at the Little Red Church Hall, Darcy spoke about her party’s plans to reform health care in the province, then answered questions and took comments from a crowd of about 50 people for more than an hour.

“We do not believe in further privatization of health care. We think there are services that are not provided now that ought to be provided for so that people don’t go out of pocket,” she noted, and added the NDP believe in eliminating the Medical Services Plan so that people don’t face “an affordability issue” which leads to privatization and two-tier health care.

Last month during the provincial budget, the Liberal government announced changes to MSP premiums which are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Changes include cutting the premiums in half for residents who qualify as a first step to what the government noted is the process of eliminating the premiums.

Darcy emphasized funds from MSP should go into care, not into profit, and addressed the issue of ‘pay for plasma,’ a topic mentioned by attendees.

Pay-for-plasma clinics, which operate in provinces across Canada, offer eligible donors a rate for blood donations. Private blood and plasma collection has been banned in Ontario and Quebec, and Darcy explained she introduced a private members bill to ban the service in B.C.

“The government has refused to do that.”

Darcy also spoke to investing in public mental health and addiction services, “because we have a complete two-tier system when it comes to mental health and addictions.

“The people on the front lines on the fentanyl crisis will all say we have to do more as far as harm reduction and more support for people on the front lines but we also have to have treatment available for people if they are willing and are able to go into treatment, and we don’t have it.”

She added there is no support for people to break their addiction when wait times for treatment are six or eight weeks, or only available to those who can pay out of pocket.

Afterwards, she touched briefly on topic of hospices, and noted she sat on a committee which developed a bipartisan report on dying with dignity prior to the federal law being passed.

“ … We need to ensure this right is available through the continuum of healthcare … the Comox Valley shouldn’t be different than other communities.”

The provincial election is set for May 9.

 

Just Posted

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Cannabis store proposed for west side of Courtenay

Courtenay Council has approved second reading of a zoning amendment for a… Continue reading

North Island College celebrates 150th bachelor of business administration graduate

The North Island College School of Business marks a milestone in 2019… Continue reading

Former volleyball star runs to kill cancer

Since 2012, Stephanie Kurz has been pushing herself to the limit as… Continue reading

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Courtenay council adopts bylaw to regulate plastics

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw to regulate the business use of single-use… Continue reading

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Comox man arrested after gun incident at Quinsam Lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

Most Read