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BC United calls for urgent capital upgrades to improve conditions at UHNBC

January 30, 2024

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Northerners deserve better health care outcomes and Health Minister Adrian Dix continues to ignore the growing challenges in the Northern Health Authority. Whether it is emergency room capacity, operating room hours, capital upgrades, or adequate staffing, University Hospital of Northern BC needs to be a priority for David Eby and his NDP Government.

The province has made multiple announcements, but has not made meaningful progress on the UHNBC capital plan. Aside from announcing to fund an increase in parking capacity, there is no funding commitment for the surgical tower or the cardiac care needed in the Northern Health region. There is a desperate requirement for the province to make urgent investments in facilities and staffing.

“The lack of cardiac care means families are travelling hundreds of kilometers for even less complicated procedures like the placement of a stent,” said Coralee Oakes, BC United Candidate for Prince George–North Cariboo. “We know that standards for patients in the Northern Health region are falling dangerously behind provincial benchmark wait times for many medical procedures.”

“With emergency room closures or diversions in smaller hospitals, David Eby’s NDP are putting even greater pressure on UHNBC,” said Shirley Bond, BC United Candidate for Prince George–Valemount. “We’ve heard directly from medical professionals about the pressure on UHNBC’s emergency department, and that a helicopter landing pad is critical to preserve the lives of the sickest, most critically-injured patients.”

“If rural hospitals are not an option for rural residents, then I want to know what the plan is for patients to get the emergency care they need and deserve,” explained Shane Brienen, BC United Candidate for Nechako Lakes.

“Under the NDP Government, we continue to see the voices of health care workers being ignored and patient outcomes deteriorate,” said Kiel Giddens, BC United Candidate for Prince George–Mackenzie. “The hallway medicine and emergency room crowding we are seeing puts additional pressure on health care professionals and puts patients in our communities and region at risk. It is time for the significant investment that is needed in the Northern Health Authority, including cardiac care, increased capacity, and a heli-pad as part of the UHNBC capital plan, as called for by health care professionals.”

A BC United Government is committed to delivering results by investing in UHNBC to ensure it is a fully functional tertiary centre of care, and will support staff with better working conditions and aggressive recruitment and retention strategies that recognize the unique challenges not only at UHNBC, but in all of the Northern Health region.

United, we will fix Health Care.

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Media Contact:
Lindsay Cote
Executive Director
communications@votebcunited.ca
250-552-8748

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