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PODCAST: Revolutionizing reproductive health: BC’s free contraception program

TODAY IN B.C.: In 2023 B.C. became the first province to make contraception free
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Host Peter McCully chats with Andrea Silver, a pharmacist and member of the board of the College of Pharmacists about the groundbreaking initiatives taken by British Columbia to provide free access to contraceptives, with more than 60 types being made available.

The first segment of the podcast focuses on Silver’s insights into the free contraceptive program, discussing its reception, implementation and the notable increase in individuals benefiting from free contraceptives. The statistics reveal that almost 300,000 people have availed themselves of these services since the program’s initiation, showcasing a significant positive response.

Silver emphasizes the program’s impact on contraceptive choices.

The discussion extends to the broader societal implications, linking unintended pregnancies to health and economic challenges, making the case for providing families with the best possible start.

In the second segment, McCully talks with Black Press Media journalist Lauren Collins who had the opportunity to interview Health Minister Adrian Dix about the program and benefits.

“There are longer-term benefits, and this will take longer to assess. It’s impact, for example, on unwanted pregnancies and other issues, that will take longer to assess, obviously, than the period that it’s been in place so far. But it’s our belief, and certainly the belief of those that study this issue that there will be other benefits beyond that,” said Dix. “Across the board, I think it’s been launched successfully, it’s worked for women, it’s saved money and it’s better health care. I think that it’s going to be followed in other jurisdictions as well”.

Dix emphasizes the financial relief for younger women, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of healthcare and financial considerations.

If you have suggestions or comments, send a voice message to podcast@blackpress.ca you may be part of our audio podcast mailbag segment.

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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