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EDITORIAL – NDP, Greens gain momentum at end of Week One

This clinic recently stopped accepting walk-ins. Are ‘urgent care centres’ the answer?

An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE WEEK down, three to go.

So far, the B.C. provincial election has been a bit ho-hum, but the NDP grabbed momentum Monday (April 17, 2017) with an announcement on the walk-in clinic issue.

As leader John Horgan was in Burnaby unveiling a proposal to set up “urgent care centres,” Kamloops candidates Nancy Bepple and Barb Nederpel were simultaneously announcing it in Kamloops.

The NDP plan would establish what sounds very much like walk-in clinics on steroids — open longer hours and with teams of doctors, nurse practitioners and counsellors to provide a broader menu of care and resolve the biggest irritant with walk-ins, namely the lengthy wait times.

So far, the idea hasn’t been costed, and it doesn’t answer the extreme shortage of family doctors. However, it sounds more attractive than the “science centre” approach offered by the Liberals, which still requires doctorless patients to wait on a list until a nurse practitioner is available.

And it gives the NDP a talking point on a problem the Liberals haven’t been able to solve, try as they may.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver made a  move of his own Monday, attacking another Liberal weak point — public discomfort with the way the governing party has conducted itself.

Weaver said the Greens would prohibit ministers from engaging in partisan fundraising, ban corporate, union and out-of-province donations, limit individual contributions and hire a public watchdog to oversee government advertising and communications.

Christy Clark and the Liberals, meanwhile, are on a “steady as she goes” course very much like their message in the last election — jobs and the economy. But what resonated last time around just sounds recycled this time.

As we enter Week Two, the two challengers are gaining momentum.

mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5006 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – NDP, Greens gain momentum at end of Week One

  1. Considering Mr.Horgan’s attempts to shout down Ms Clark during the so-leader’s debate sounded a little like Mr. Trump’s approach to Mrs. Clinton. This attitude might have lost him some votes. But again the voters are free to vote for whoever they want to vote for,. that is if they vote.

  2. Mr. Rothenburger is absolutely correct when he wonders what the cost will be. Nice to make all these promises, but the bottom will be how much will it cost the taxpayer. Where are the doctors, nurse practitioners and counselors going to come from, given that we can’t even fill the needs at this time. Family doctors, have extremely large practices, they don’t have time to speak to their patients, patients are on a conveyor belt moved into the office and out of the office as they are referred to someone else, who won’t see the patient for what seems to be eons. In my case, I have what might be a damaged Lumbar nerve, so as it progressively gets worse, my CT Scan will take place in August. Seems to be a long time. Roughly a twelve week wait for a one minute procedure. Lastly, how many patients have died because of delays in seeing specialists?

  3. Mel—fair analysis of week one—but you’re on the edge of the media phenomenon of always questioning NDP announcements with “what will the cost be?”
    Our current government can give billions away in tax breaks to corporations and the rich but nary a peep from the media or questions of cost analysis. The Liberals use millions of dollars of tax payer money to pay for ads trying to convince us what a great government they are, use millions of dollars to subsidize mine clean up, even more millions to challenge the teachers union to the supreme court of Canada—but rarely do we hear much from the media about the cost of those decisions.
    The cost aspect of campaign promises or platform announcements is a justifiable question, but only if you hold every party to the same scrutiny.

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