EDITORIAL – Neither NDP nor Liberals have answers to doctor shortage

MLA Peter Milobar during Question Period. (Image: BC Hansard)                        

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE BAGGAGE OF PAST DEEDS weighs heavy on the shoulders of political parties that once formed government. Kamloops MLAs Todd Stone and Peter Milobar and their fellow BC Liberals are being reminded of that these days.

The Liberals have been hammering the NDP government over the shortage of family doctors.

That, of course, has been an issue for years. The Liberals tried to address it with primary care clinics and nurse practitioners and it seemed to help for awhile. Sadly, the problem is again in the forefront.

Every time the Liberals talk about it, though, Premier John Horgan, the NDP and their social-media supporters are only too happy to point out the Liberals were in power for 16 years and didn’t erase the shortage.

The Liberals, though, can hardly be blamed for criticizing the status quo. In our parliamentary system, it’s the job of the Official Opposition to demand action from the government regardless of what happened when the tables were turned.

I’m surprised Milobar and Stone haven’t pulled the old cancer clinic card, the one in which then-premier Mike Harcourt promised Kamloops a full-scale cancer clinic in 1991, then gave it to Kelowna. And Horgan’s own promise of the same thing hasn’t materialized.

At any rate, it’s true the Liberals didn’t fix the problem they’re now accusing the NDP of not fixing. But, more importantly, what’s the answer?

The Liberals and New Democrats toss numbers at each other trying to prove who’s right.

At the end of the day, though, we’re left with this reality: neither the government nor opposition parties have answers. The Liberals don’t seem to have a plan other than to lambaste the NDP. In response, Health Minister Adrian Dix reels off statistics designed to show the government isn’t to blame.

All parties need to forget about past failures and focus on present-day solutions. So far, though, that approach is nowhere in sight.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 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.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Neither NDP nor Liberals have answers to doctor shortage

  1. P.graham // May 6, 2022 at 7:57 AM // Reply

    Keeping the old story of the promised and cancelled cancer clinic alive is futile. The error was the initial promise, and the center went to the larger population base…makes sense…

  2. Mac Gordon // May 5, 2022 at 12:26 PM // Reply

    Medical school costs are far too daunting for many prospective students. Initiatives to bring down or eliminate student loans in exchange short term service in badly needed areas would be a good start.

  3. A part-solution to the doctor shortage is to focus on a healthy population.
    Food, hence diet and exercise.
    But otherwise more money and perks?

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