But Health Critic Shirley Bond says while a mask mandate may help in places like theUniversity Hospital of Northern B.C., where the number of patients arriving is on the rise exponentially, there’s a bigger issue to tackle.

“Most British Columbians want vulnerable people who are unwell to be cared for. More importantly, in many ways, we need our healthcare professionals to be able to keep up with the circumstances we’re going to face this fall. So a couple of things. I am deeply concerned about the capacity in hospitals across this province to manage an additional surge.”

But Health Minister Adrian Dix assures hospitals will be ready.

“We had approximately 9,200 acute care beds and 2,300 surg beds. And what we’ve done is established the beds that have the proper equipment, that are in place and we’re going to build regular staffing around them. The key to those beds is not the space itself. We are, of course, building hospitals, as you know, around B.C. But. But how we treat the beds and how we fundamentally support the beds and how we staff the beds.”

But Shirley Bond says healthcare staff were getting out of the industry in droves at the end of the last COVID surge and has a suggestion.

“We have been calling on this government for more than a year to bring back workers that are unvaccinated and we’re now having masking and health care facilities. So one of the things that this government could do, which would bring them into alignment with jurisdictions right across this country, is bring back those workers.”

And she challenges Minister Adrian Dix to explain how B.C. is sending vulnerable cancer patients to Washington state where workers are not required to be vaccinated. “I’d like Minister Dix to explain his hypocrisy on that issue.”

In the meantime, as the incidents of respiratory illness ramp up in hospitals, Northern Health has a message.

“Yeah, absolutely. It’s important to access our health care services if you feel you need to, especially if you’re having any concerning symptoms, you know, like shortness of breath, chest pain, you know, any other really concerning symptoms,” says Dr. Kling. “Absolutely, access our emergency department.”

Source link