Union displeased with 'status quo' budget

Columbia Valley News

Union displeased with status quo budget 
by Lynn Knell 

While BC Government Finance Minister is smiling about his ministrys commitment to health care, the Health Sciences Association of BC, the union that represents 16,000 diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation specialists, is not. Reid Johnson, President of the HSA is warning British Columbians to brace themselves for yet another round of cuts to health care services around the province.

-With a status quo budget for health care, we know that health authorities will be forced to continue to cut services as they have been doing the past year," Johnson said.

All of the health authorities in the province have already been scrambling to balance already bare-bones budgets. For example, in the Fraser Health Authority, MRIs were cut, elective surgeries reduced, beds closed, parking fees increased, programs such as youth psychiatric services shut down, and funding for several community programs delivering services throughout the region.

-•Seniors, the mentally ill and those with addictions issues are hardest hit, but • everyone is feeling the impact, said Mr. Johnson. He went on to observe that -the cuts appear to sacrifice long-term cost control in favor of temporary short-term gains, undermining government claims to fiscal responsibility."

The latest budget doesnt appear to be interested in creating a strategy to address the long term and increasingly urgent crisis of shortages in the modern health care team.

-Health care is built on a team that delivers the outstanding service British Columbians rely on. Shortages in critical areas need to be addressed. Without a complete health care team, the long-term consequences of delayed diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation will only get worse," Johnson said.

Health Sciences Association of BC is the union that represents 16,000 health science professionals in BC hospitals and communities who deliver specialized diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services.