Health care is a top concern for the people in Saanich North and the Islands and across British Columbia. It accounts for about 40 per cent of the provincial budget and climbing.
To address the issues of health care, along with housing, transportation, local economies and education, we need to think differently. We need to start looking at the big picture by laying out a vision that considers how one building block affects the others.
The way we deliver primary care needs to evolve. We need to focus on community care, on collaboration initiatives that bring teams of practitioners together. Our current system is heavily focused on addressing illness and providing acute care but we need to shift that model towards wellness and prevention. This needs support and leadership from the provincial government.
The BC Liberals have talked for more than a decade about improving our system. Unfortunately nothing has changed. They promised to provide a general practitioner for everyone by 2015. They have doubled the MSP premiums since taking power and just weeks before the election they have promised to cut the health care tax in half without telling us how they will fund the $845 million deficit.
In comparison, the BC Greens have promoted alternative and progressive ways of funding our health care, such as scraping MSP altogether and funding it through income tax as other provinces have done. This plan is progressive, not unfairly penalizing seniors, fixed and low-income citizens, and saving the province millions of dollars by getting rid of the MSP collection agency.
Delivering health care in our riding is complex,. The geographical challenges and aging population are just two of the main concerns. I am committed to working hard on your behalf to bring people together — the innovators, creators, investors, and change-makers — to ensure that our communities are sustainable for the future and that we find the best possible solutions for health care in Saanich North and the Islands.
Adam Olsen, BC Green Party Candidate for Saanich North and the Islands
(This is the second op/ed contributed by a local candidate in the upcoming May 9 provincial election. The PNR has offered space to each of the declared candidates, leading up to election day.)