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LETTER - COVID didn’t create the inadequacy of our medical system; it simply exposed it

Dear editor,
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Dear editor,

I am 74 years old and until approximately 10 years ago, when our family doctor retired, I enjoyed a wonderful relationship with our doctor and received excellent health care from her.

Until then, while I was aware of the doctor shortages and was aware of the steady decline in our medical services, I was not directly impacted by it.

However, I am certainly aware of our provincial medical health care services’ decline now. Long waits in public walk-in clinics have provided me with the opportunity to witness firsthand the obvious overload on our public medical system, and the unwarranted doctor shortages leading to inadequate medical care and difficult to access services for many.

Sitting for three hours in a public walk-in clinic waiting room needs to be a required experience for all policymakers who may have become indifferent to the medical plight of many. Waiting and watching may just provide bureaucrats who make important health care decisions some insight into the realities of our medical system and those needing to access it.

This crisis is not created by too many patients seeking care but by our provincial and federal governments making public health care decisions that have repeatedly placed economic expediency over ethical public health care choices. Canadians have long been proud of our free medical system and have repeatedly demanded that our free medical system remain a part of our Canadian identity. Despite this, what we are seeing is the steady erosion of our free public health care system in Canada. The current COVID pandemic has simply exposed the inadequacy of our Canadian medical system, it did not create it.

The reality of almost 1,800 drug overdose deaths in B.C. two years in a row highlights the real problem. We are all losing. We are losing our free medical system, and we are losing our loved ones, and we are losing our humanity. The real pandemic here is the pandemic of loss. It is past time to demand our politicians and bureaucrats support people and families with sincere intentions to help rather than harm, as has been the pattern repeated now for many years.

Patri Janyk,