Healthcare has long been an area of keen interest for me. My mother was a nurse and as a youth I spent many hours visiting long-term care facilities to brighten the days of residents through music.
As an adult, I experienced the positive impact of Hospice, not only for patients, but for their families too when my parents needed care. That experience motivated me to get involved and I now chair two hospice societies and a hospital foundation.
Earlier this year I led our board in developing policy that respects the rights of Canadians under the new legislation around Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), and preserves the continuity of care that is essential to the best palliative hospice practice, where MAiD remains somewhat controversial.
In my role as chair of the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, I work with our board and Island Health to support the local hospital and other healthcare initiatives. We are currently working on a study looking at the establishment of a primary care centre that would attract and retain doctors in our community.
Peninsula Medical is a local practice of this kind that received start-up funding through the provincial GP-for-Me program and recently opened with some repayable assistance from the Town of Sidney.
This is an example of healthcare investment on the Saanich Peninsula, and the evolving approach to improving our already excellent healthcare system.
Thanks to our strong economy here in B.C., we are able to continue making investments and improving on healthcare delivery. With Balanced Budget 2017, we have a $4.2 billion increase to the Ministry of Health budget over three years.
British Columbia is home to an excellent healthcare system, with outcomes among the best in the country. Yet we can always improve.
Stephen P. Roberts, BC Liberal Candidate for Saanich North and the Islands
(This is the seventh op/ed contributed by a local candidate in the May 9 provincial election. The PNR has offered space to each of the declared candidates.)