Monday, February 25, 2013

Can things really be much different here in Kamloops with the Interior Health Authority? I would think not

Today we have a feature commentary from, Kamloops South Thompson BC Conservative candidate, Peter Sharp:

I came across a story today that should give at least a few British Columbian's, many of whom are desperately looking to find a family Doctor, a bit of hope. 

The news story indicated that BC has recruited a record number of doctors in 2012.  I am pleased to see this, but also find it a shame however; that we can't work harder to find ways to train more of our own BC young people. 

Just the other day, in a government release, the BC Liberals also informed us that:
The government of British Columbia and the BC Medical Association are partnering to improve primary care services and ensure all B.C. citizens who want a family doctor are able to access one by 2015.  

Here are the first two features they called attention to:
1) Funding to enable family physicians to consult with patients by telephone

2) Incentives for physicians to take more patients with complex conditions, such as cancer, onto their caseloads.  

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not so sure that we want to have doctors diagnosing patient medical concerns by telephone -- something tells me we could be opening ourselves up for some kind of multi-million dollar lawsuit if a serious misdiagnosis were to occur. 

Doctors to diagnose over the telephone, while patients
self-diagnose over the internet for lack of family doctors
And ... if doctors are already carrying more patients than they wish to have, which is greatly increasing their stress and burn-out level, what kind of 'incentives' can we possibly provide that would have them take on more patients? 

I have to say that everything I see, read, and hear, tells me the whole system appears to be getting worse, and not better.  And it's not just doctors (and others in the healthcare system) saying the problem is patient loads that are too high, and not enough family doctors.  Spending is being badly misdirected as well.  

Some Doctors involved in direct medical care in BC are saying; "Hundreds of millions of tax dollars are being wasted every year oninefficiencies and mismanagement".   

In this same story we read:
Mike McLoughlin, a Kelowna businessman whose wife is a family doctor at a walk-in clinic, said patients often needlessly repeat medical tests when they're referred to a local hospital.

"The information sharing is so poor that patients undergo the same tests twice," said McLoughlin, who's running in the May election for the B.C. Conservatives after getting fed up watching waste in the system.  
The story "Wasted Tax Dollars: B.C. health spending under fire", by Michael Smyth, informs us that:  
... in the Fraser Health Authority alone, the number of non-union staff making over $150,000 a year has increased 22 per cent since the 2009 election. 
... and those making between $125,000 and $150,000 is up 35 per cent, and those making between $100,000 and $125,000 is up 39 per cent
Can things really be much different here in Kamloops with the Interior Health Authority?  I would think not -- and it IS NOT. 

For the year 2010 / 2011 the CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Interior Health ADMINISTRATION, earned $346,014 ... the SENIORMEDICAL DIRECTOR, TERTIARY SERVICES earned $278,542 ... while the VP MEDICINE/QUALITY, IH ADMINISTRATION, earned a salary of $259,350.  
For the budget year 2010 / 11, the top twelve (12) people for IHA earned between $214,469 ... and $346,014.  For 2013 I am sure at least a few more people have been added to that number.
Do these people deserve those salaries?  I honestly don't know.  What I do know is this:
We do not have enough front line medical staff --- we do not have enough nurses -- and we definitely DO NOT have enough family doctors ... including here in Kamloops and the smaller rural communities that surround us. 
BC Conservatives believe that:
... all individuals and organizations within government, including public servants at all levels, must be held accountable for the prudent management of monies and the efficient delivery of services. 
This includes all ... government operations, including education, health care, electrical power, and any other service provided by government. 
We are committed to ensuring, 'health care decisions are made in the best interests of patients and taxpayers, based on population and demographics, cost effectiveness and patient outcomes.' 
These are things that drew me to the BC Conservative party -- these are things that helped in my decision to seek the BC Conservative Party nomination for Kamloops South Thompson.  Join our team and help us bring these goals, and aspirations, to reality. 
I'm Peter Sharp -- I'm a BC Conservative -- and I BELIEVE in BC.
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