We need plans not platitudes

It’s true that health-care delivery in rural areas remains a problem across the country, but simply stating this fact doesn’t excuse the lack of basic services in places like Castlegar.

It’s true that health-care delivery in rural areas remains a problem across the country, but simply stating this fact doesn’t excuse the lack of basic services in places like Castlegar.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we’ve heard from B.C. Liberal leadership candidates who have taken time to visit the West Kootenay in recent weeks.

Kevin Falcon was the latest to zip through the area and the former health minister could only offer platitudes when asked what can be done to fix the problems that plague the health-care system in this part of the province.

He pointed out the obvious — that staffing issues have been a challenge in rural areas for years — but offered no real solutions. He noted his government has boosted the number of doctors and nurses being trained in B.C. universities, but didn’t mention the fact that, under this same government, Castlegar lost 24-hour ER service.

Today, the city also lost regular ultrasound service. The imaging machine — which only remains in Castlegar thanks to a massive public protest against plans to move it to Trail — will sit idle indefinitely because the Interior Health Authority doesn’t have the technologists to staff it. The same problem in Nelson has sidelined that city’s echocardiography (heart ultrasound) machine.

During his recent visit to the region, Liberal leadership candidate George Abbott called out the IHA over these kinds of problems, but the hypocrisy of his comments were correctly pointed out in last week’s letter to the editor from Sally Williams of the Castlegar & District Health Watch Society.

Health care is a provincial responsibility. It’s about time our provincial leaders started offering up some real plans to bring to rural areas a basic level of service that anyone living in a larger centre would take for granted.

Just Posted

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Snowfall warning across the West Kootenay

A strong Pacific frontal system had Environment Canada issuing a snowfall advisory early Tuesday

Over $25,000 raised for Columbia Basin literacy

Success for 2018 Books for Kids campaign

Castlegar water rates set to rise for commercial, industrial users; no change for single-family homes

Multi-family residences are also likely to see a price hike in 2019

Thousands donated to Castlegar health centre campaign

Money will go to purchasing new equipment

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

2 facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog found in B.C.

Amy Hui-Yu Lin and Glenn Mislang have been charged with causing an animal to continue to be in distress

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canada-China relations turn icy over arrest of Chinese exec

The Huawei case has threatened to complicate U.S.-China efforts to resolve a bitter trade dispute.

Prosecutor signs off on former B.C. Liberal government’s quick-wins probe

David Butcher said in a statement released Monday that the RCMP recommended charges under the Elections Act

Most Read