HEU calls for public solutions

Letter published in January 28 Province newspaper

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British Columbians expect the provincial government to properly fund health care and show leadership in implementing solutions addressing surgery waits and over-burdened emergency rooms.

The good news is that proven public solutions exist here in B.C.

A pilot project at Richmond Hospital dedicated two operating rooms to orthopedic surgery, streamlined procedures and reduced wait lists by 75 per cent.

Ontario adopted our model. In B.C., it's languishing on the shelves.

And a one-stop-shop, joint-replacement assessment clinic in North Vancouver reduced wait times to see surgeons from 50 weeks to between two and four weeks. There are many more examples.

Public solutions are also more cost-efficient.

The average price for knee-replacement surgery in Canadian public hospitals is $8,002.

Compare that to $14,000 to $18,000 at a private clinic.

Why should taxpayers fork out more for the same procedure? That's not anti-business. It's just common sense.

Judy Darcy
Secretary-Business Manager
Hospital Employees' Union

(Note to HEU members: The Province published the letter on January 28 under the name of the staff person who submitted it on behalf of Judy Darcy. We've asked the paper to correct the record.)