Christy Clark’s government putting privatization ahead of patient needs

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doctorVICTORIA— The Christy Clark government is putting the privatization of health care ahead of the needs of patients, say the New Democrats.

A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the government cancelled a program that reduced wait times for surgery in the public system by 75 per cent and instead have been contracting surgeries to private clinics.

“For hips, knees and cataract surgeries, wait times in British Columbia are among the worst in Canada,” said New Democrat health spokesperson Judy Darcy.

“The Richmond Hip and Knee Reconstruction project brought median hip and knee replacement surgery wait times down from 20 months to five. It was innovative. It was cost-effective. It should have been scaled up. Instead the Liberal government cancelled it.”

The report said innovation in the public system, which is cost-effective and resulted in better outcomes for patients, should have been broadened across the province. Instead, a lack of leadership means the Christy Clark government failed to deliver for B.C. patients.

“They are contracting out surgeries to private hospitals, even though study after study shows that results in poorer outcomes and no improvement in wait times,” Darcy said.

“The excessive, unacceptable wait for medically necessary surgery is causing patients to further deteriorate.”