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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

That's nothing less than an abandonment of responsibility, by those who govern us!

The Armchair Mayor, Mel Rothenburger, gave me an interesting read this morning.  Entitled, "Thank you, Lord, for giving us more places to buy $5 coffee and $40 wine", it was a sarcastic, yet accurate, portrayal of what some at least find most important in their day to day lives. 

It got me to thinking about what really is important, at least to me, as an immediate need ... having a family doctor (our family has had four in the past 24 years ... all who have eventually moved from our city to greener pastures). 

Unless you've been hiding under a rock these past several years, we are all very well aware that nearly a third of the population of Kamloops residents is without a family doctor. The insanity of this situation ... the fact that it has been an ever growing epidemic for many many years  ... and that no provincial government (NDP or Liberal) has found a solution to this BC health care crisis ... is quite frankly, ridiculous!

BC Liberal Health Minister Terry Lake herding
Kamloops residents to the nearest walk-in clinic

TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE, in a population of 80,000 Kamloops residents, is without ready access to a medical professional, without having to line up, as others have said, like cattle, while desperately trying to get into a walk-in clinic.

That's nothing less than an abandonment of responsibility, by those who govern us!

As Castanet News announced this week:

A four-point action plan was announced Thursday by Health Minister Terry Lake to provide better access to care and attract more doctors to the city, including opening two new health centres.

Apparently the plan includes:

Taking immediate steps to increase capacity at walk-in clinics and doctors’ offices by using locum or temporary doctors during the next six months.
We DON'T NEED locums / temporary doctors.  We DO however need consistent medical care through a family doctor who will be able to know our medical history, so that we have continuity of care

Increasing capacity through targeted recruitment of family doctors
This isn't anything new ... but up to this point it has been little more than talk.  What concrete PLANS does this government have to actually make it happen?

Establishing and recruiting practitioners to new “practice-ready” primary-care centres, including placing internationally educated doctors and recruiting nurse practitioners.
Refer to my comment on point #2 

Setting up specialized community care teams for the frail elderly, patients who are medically complex, and people with mental health and substance use concerns.
Great idea, but given governments track record, I'll believe it when I see it!

Meantime, if you missed it, I refer you to a news items from Kamloops this Week:
An advocacy group is hosting a discussion on Oct. 13 to address the local doctor shortage. Got No Doc will meet at Zack’s Coffees, teas and Gifts, 377 Victoria St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to address the situation it says may be about to worsen.

In closing, here's a quote from a Letter To The Editor sent to Kamloops This Week: 
It would be nice if the Liberal prime minister and Liberal premier got together during this lovely royal visit to discuss the fact that sick and sometimes elderly people have to stand in line like a bunch of cattle at a rendering plant just to maybe get an appointment that day with a doctor who knows nothing about them and cares even less.

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.


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