Canada's NDP


February 2nd, 2022

Address the crisis in primary care and strengthen health care now, say local NDP MPs

VICTORIA – Local NDP MPs Laurel Collins (Victoria), Randall Garrison (Esquimalt -Saanich-Sooke) and Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) are calling on the government to take urgent action to address the crisis in primary care and reiterating their calls to strengthen the health care system to help keep locals healthy and safe. Southern Vancouver Island residents have long faced challenges accessing family doctors, and are now facing critical shortages in access to doctors at walk-in clinics. In addition, after almost two years of the pandemic, health care workers have been dealing with burnout and, due to staffing shortages, they continue to work to exhaustion. As COVID-19 cases remain high across the country, the federal government could be doing much more to ensure health care workers are supported and the health care system is able to meet the needs of Canadians now, not once the pandemic is done.
“In Victoria and the South Island, several health clinics have been forced to close because of understaffing, leaving residents without anywhere to turn when they’re sick,” said Collins. “If the Liberals properly funded Canada's healthcare system we could pay workers what they deserve and help train and recruit new healthcare workers to prevent burnout.”
“Canadians are grateful for the essential work nurses, doctors and healthcare workers have been doing these past two years to care for our loved ones. They deserve the support of their government, but right now, they’re not getting it,” said Garrison. “Underfunding to our healthcare system by successive Conservative and Liberal governments have left hospitals and clinics understaffed. It’s time the Liberals funded the Canadian healthcare system properly.”
As Parliament resumes, New Democrats remain focused on helping Canadians get through the pandemic and ensuring that a stronger, public health care system is there for people when they need it. New Democrats are pushing the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to expand and improve access to primary care and to address wait times. This includes increasing health funding to the provinces and territories, identifying gaps in health human resources, increasing the number of beds available in hospitals, and making a plan to recruit and retain the doctors, nurses and other health professionals that people need.
“Canadians want to know that when they or their loved ones need medical help, they’re getting the best care possible. Justin Trudeau said he’d have people’s backs during this pandemic but he’s standing by while workers and patients suffer,” said MacGregor. “It’s time for the Liberals to move past empty words and take action; invest in our healthcare system now.”