Liberal attack on contracts will increase health care shortages, says HSA

Todays attack on health care contracts will have a devastating impact on the provinces ability to recruit and retain health care professionals, says Cindy Stewart, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC.

Stewart says that under the new legislation, there will no longer be any provincial mechanism for keeping track of displaced health care professionals and relocating them to communities where their services are needed. Instead, the government has off-loaded responsibility for recruitment and retention to local health authorities.

"This legislation is yet another blow for rural and remote communities," Stewart says. "As the Liberals forge ahead with their plan to cut health care services, there will be no provincial strategy for keeping these highly skilled individuals here in BC. As a result, more and more health care professionals will choose to move to jurisdictions that are offering better wages and working conditions."

Stewart says this means that many BC communities will be unable to fill vacancies at their hospitals, forcing patients to travel to larger centres to get the care and treatment they need. She fears this will also pave the way for drastically reducing services in outlying areas, including closing some hospitals.

"Todays legislation calls into question the Liberals ability to plan and manage the health care system," Stewart says. "At a time when the rest of the world has recognized the need for a global strategy on recruitment and retention, this government is going in the opposite direction, creating even more chaos in a already fragile system."