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Letter: Bill 36 bad for health care

Politicians have systematically crippled healthcare under their governance

Bill 36 bad for health care

I am writing out of concern about Bill 36. This bill, which had news released about it by the B.C. Government on Oct. 19, 2022, would make sweeping changes to the governance of regulated health professions in British Columbia, and dissolve the current Health Professions Act.

In essence the 24 healthcare licensing bodies, who are all currently independently operating, will be amalgamated to six. The board of directors for each body will be dismantled, and the B.C. government will take over the governance of all healthcare licensing and regulation.

Over the past two years we have seen Minister Dix fixated on increasing regulation and oversight as a means to address the healthcare crisis. However Adrian Dix, as minister of Health, is educationally underqualified to implement new acts in this field of work with only an undergraduate degree in history and political science. These immense changes instituted by Minister Dix will move away from self governance of regulatory colleges placing it all in his underqualified hands.

Current boards are elected individuals whose merits and qualifications are based on the candidate’s expertise and experience within their profession, not an appointed ministerial title.

Bill 36 will remove the important independent and profession-specific oversight of regulated professionals.

While it is important to have regulatory bodies for the benefit of the public and professionals alike, there is no burning fire to make these sweeping changes when there are many problems with amalgamation such as combining many differing professions such as optometrists and dieticians.

Governance is best handled by those with expertise in the areas, those who provide the health solutions directly, not bureaucrats who will act in the best interests of the government, not the public or professionals.

Also at issue is why the government has chosen to attack and overhaul private health when we can clearly see hospital and community medicine is on the brink of collapse. This teetering implosion can be quickly confirmed by speaking with first responders or hospital staff.

Politicians have systematically crippled healthcare under their governance.

Now is not the time to tinker with regulatory bodies, amalgamation and legislation that is not solution oriented.

Focus needs to be directed on supporting and strengthening our failing system, not dismantling allied health and private practice.

Of great concern is if this bill passes, British Columbia will lose more highly skilled and specialized healthcare professionals to other provinces and countries. We currently have an exodus from our province of health care workers.

The last two years have been a highly reactive era. It is time to slow down and be cautious about what we do next, for those in governance and as a society at large.

This means that this bill must be considered with the utmost care, including a proper impact analysis of what would happen to our health human resources.

We cannot afford to lose further talented clinicians and care providers. To lose more within the system, would overwhelm the current strain on facilities.

To lose allied and private providers in the community would increase the pressure on our systems that they currently alleviate.

We must protect our health care system and its providers from further strain and collapse.

Please let the government know that you oppose Bill 36 and to proceed no further with it.

Carol Money