Letter to the Editor.

LETTER – Physician assistants could be the solution for Comox Valley’s doctor shortage

Dear editor,

Re: Doctor shortage reaching critical point in the Comox Valley

This article describes the dire doctor shortage situation in the Comox Valley and goes on to explain the BC Ministry of Health has “acknowledged the situation in the Valley… and is looking into the situation.”

The truth of the matter is the citizens of the Comox Valley and the entire province would be well on the way to experiencing the reversal of the poor doctor-patient ratios had the province introduced physician assistants (PAs). PAs would provide valuable and much-needed resources, just as the role of nurse practitioners were expanded years ago. Instead, nursing bureaucrats turned politicians and policy writers, not nurse rank and file within the health ministry continue their entirely partisan approach to promoting only nurse clinicians as a solution to longstanding and current healthcare deficiencies in the province.

Things haven’t changed over the years throughout successive governments. If physician assistants are good enough to care for patients while serving Canada in uniform, domestically and abroad, why not as part of the B.C. healthcare team? Continuing to exclude Physician Assistants to the benefit of another profession isn’t teamwork, isn’t collegial nor acceptable.

The government recognizes the value of PAs yet introducing a new health profession is not a priority to them.

Twenty-five civilian and military PAs reside in B.C., not to mention many others who call BC home are forced to work elsewhere as we continue to be ineligible to practicse medicine in our own province. We have for years, been calling on the Government of British Columbia to regulate our profession.

Now, more than ever, the proven skills and attributes we have been fully trained to provide as part of complete healthcare team can be depended upon to help provide necessary medical care to British Columbians.

Trevor Stone

Comox

Letter to the Editor