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Why would BC pay extra for riskier surgeries?

Many of B.C.’s public hospital Operating Rooms stand empty for hours and hours every week - but a recent policy paper shows the Ministry of Health shows is considering signing over more public surgeries to expensive and risky private, for-profit clinics.
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BC Minister of Health Terry Lake <hlth.minister@gov.bc.ca>
Island Health Board Chair Don Hubbard <don.hubbard@viha.ca>
BC Health Critic Judy Darcy <judy.darcy.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Ann Bozoian at Island Health ann.bozoian@viha.ca
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Why would BC pay extra for riskier surgeries?

Many of B.C.’s public hospital Operating Rooms stand empty for hours and hours every week - but a recent policy paper from the Ministry of Health shows they are considering signing over more public surgeries to expensive and risky private, for-profit clinics.[1]

The province even seems to be considering changing B.C.’s laws to allow for-profit clinics to keep patients for up to three days. This  legislative change would basically create full-blown private hospitals in B.C. 

The policy paper is still under consideration. But in the meantime, increased contracts with for-profit clinics are already on their way to becoming a reality. Island Health plans to farm out 55,000 procedures to for-profit clinics over the next five years.[2] This is a costly bandaid solution that will do little to increase health care capacity in the long run.

The Ministry of Health is currently taking feedback on their new policy direction and Island Health's request for proposals closes on May 29th. We need to send a clear message to Island Health and Minister Terry Lake now.

Tell Health Minister Lake and Island Health that we need affordable, safe public solutions to wait times, not expensive contracts with for-profit private clinics that put people at risk. 

 

Sources:

[1] “Future Directions for Surgical Services in British Columbia”, BC Ministry of Health and the Provincial Surgical Executive Committee, 2015

[2] Island Health Authority RFP