New Premier Christy Clark is continuing in the shameful B.C. Liberal tradition of using Surrey Memorial Hospital as nothing more than a background for photo-ops to divert attention away from their dismal record on health care.
- Two announcements per year, woeful follow-through – This morning’s announcement is the 11th time since 2006 that the B.C. Liberals have made a significant announcement at Surrey Memorial Hospital. In the 2005 election campaign, Gordon Campbell promised that shovels would be in the ground for its expansion project by 2007 or 2008. The work was never started.
- Growing region, shrinking services – Even as Surrey was establishing itself as one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the country, the B.C. Liberals were cutting health services. Between 2002 and 2005 – a time when Ms. Clark was sitting at the cabinet table – the B.C. Liberals actually reduced acute care beds in the Fraser Health region by nearly 10 per cent.
- Failure to make up for losses – Today’s announcement of 151 new beds – and not until 2014 – must be considered in context of the cuts made by the B.C. Liberals. Under the B.C. Liberals, Fraser Health lost nearly 200 beds, with another 234 downgraded in 2009.
- A history of broken promises – Going back to 2001 – a platform co-authored by Christy Clark – the B.C. Liberals have been making empty promises on health care. They promised 5,000 new long-term care spaces – a promise still waiting for completion – and they promised health care “when and where you need it” – only to have patients shuttled between facilities and an increase in privatized, for-profit medicine. Today’s announcement is another example of Christy Clark being more of the same B.C. Liberals’ promises-first agenda.
B.C.’s New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for their broken promises to protect health care and education.