HSABC wants meeting with health minister to address budget issues.
Vancouver (17 July 2009) - Squeezing health care budgets as 2010 approaches will hurt British Columbia at the very time it needs to shine, says the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE).
Reid Johnson, who heads the union that represents 16,000 health sciences professionals, is calling on Health Minister Kevin Falcon and representatives of the province's health authorities to meet with health care unions and workers to address budget issues.
The eyes of the world will be focused on the province next year when Vancouver hosts the 2010 Winter Olympics.
HSABC's members provide diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services across the province.
Johnson notes that only last week Falcon was praising fast-tracked breast cancer diagnosis clinics in the Lower Mainland as a key to early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
However, he has since issued an edict to health authorities throughout the province forcing them to plan for dramatic reductions in services including lab, x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, CT and nuclear medicine.
“Early diagnosis is a key to prevention," Johnson notes.
"If health authorities cut their diagnostic budgets by as much as one-third, as has been suggested, there will be major repercussions to the health of British Columbians," he adds.
“Just because you aren’t diagnosed, doesn’t mean you’re not sick. The longer it takes to get a diagnosis, chances are you will be sicker and require more complex and expensive treatment and rehabilitation."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE