BEPPLE – Cancel tax cuts to the wealthy, provide better health care

(Nancy Bepple photo)

(Nancy Bepple photo)

NOTE: will publish columns and/or letters from candidates in the provincial election until the writ is dropped. Nancy Bepple is the NDP candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson.

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I joined a group of Kamloops residents waiting patiently for more than an hour in -29 degrees Celsius weather with wind chill, hoping to secure one of the few daily coveted spots at a local walk-in clinic.

Nancy Bepple.

Nancy Bepple.

All because they have no access to family doctors, a situation caused by 15 years of neglect by the Christy Clark government.  This is one of the main reasons I’m running as the NDP candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson: to help solve a healthcare crisis that affects a disturbing number of families in Kamloops and the surrounding region.

Not having a family doctor means that the health of our families and friends is not being regularly monitored so as to allow for intervention before serious medical complications may arise.    Through attending to patients on a regular basis, family physicians can not only ensure that residents remain healthy, but they also save the health care system untold resources by diagnosing many medical conditions before they become acute.  For those who already face medical challenges, the absence of a family physician means relying on long line-ups – often in extremely cold conditions – to access already over-extended walk-in clinics.

The extent of the problem is a major concern to our community.  Dr. Chip Bantock, a Kamloops-based physician and chairman of the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice, says that upwards of 30,000 people in the city do not have a family physician.  This is completely unacceptable in a community of over 90,000.

The promised clinics, announced with such fanfare by the current Minister of Health, are scheduled to open in March, but — sadly — they are little more than window dressing.  The government is merely moving clinical services from other locations in Kamloops to the new clinics.  These services — respiratory therapy and outpatient mental health — already have high client loads and, therefore, will not provide any increased access to those in need.  Additionally, the promised doctors at these new clinics are simply temporary locum placements cobbled together from others part of the province; no new, long-term doctors will be included.

We need a provincial government with a healthcare strategy that delivers appropriate levels of medical services to all citizens.  Instead of hiring more doctors or committing adequate resources to increasing the number of primary care providers, the current government has chosen to give tax cuts to the wealthiest.  We need a government that will cancel those tax cuts and invest in healthcare services to ensure they’re there when you and your family need them.

A John Horgan-led B.C. NDP government will ensure quality health care is there when you need it by helping more people get a family doctor.

Nancy Bepple is the NDP candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson riding in the upcoming B.C. provincial election.

About Mel Rothenburger (9367 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on BEPPLE – Cancel tax cuts to the wealthy, provide better health care

  1. R A George // March 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM // Reply

    I for one am willing to give the New Democrats another try at it. The Christie Clarke govt, has to go.

  2. Lawrence Beaton // March 2, 2017 at 11:07 AM // Reply

    Thanks to Ms. Bepple for her thoughts pertaining to our HealthCare Services and the lack of doctors in the area. She then proceeds to tell her readers that “a John Horgan-led NDP government will ensure quality health care……” Unfortunately, we have heard all of this story before. Even when the BC Liberals were in oppostion, they were promising the same things. Easy for an opposition party to say they will do when they get into office, but it is quite different when they get into power. Promises quickly disappear down the drain or end on a garbage heap.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: