HSABC says B.C. broke pledge to protect services | National Union of Public and General Employees

HSABC says B.C. broke pledge to protect services

'More than 10,000 MRI scans in the Vancouver area alone.' - HSABC president Reid Johnson.

Reid Johnson, president of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE)Vancouver (24 Nov. 2009) - The Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE), representing more than 15,000 health science professionals, is sounding the alarm about the Campbell government’s broken promise to protect health care services.

HSABC members deliver diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation services in B.C. hospitals and communities.

In an intensive province-wide radio campaign, HSABC is drawing public attention to devastating cuts to health services – including the reduction of more than 10,000 MRI scans in the Vancouver area alone.

“Before the election, the Liberal government promised there would be no cuts to health care despite B.C.’s failing economy,” says HSABC president Reid Johnson. “But here we are, just six months after that election, and we’re already seeing devastating cuts to services."

On July 15, Health Minister Kevin Falcon instructed B.C.’s health authorities to cut $360 million from their budgets. The result has been cuts to programs and services and Johnson predicts the cutting has only just begun.

“It’s clear that the impact on patients is severe," he says. "Seniors, the mentally ill and those with addictions issues are hardest hit but with dramatic MRI reductions and some 10,000 elective surgeries cancelled, everyone will feel the impact,” he said.

Johnson says the cuts appear to sacrifice long-term cost control in favour of temporary, short-term gains, undermining government claims to fiscal responsibility.

“Just because you aren’t diagnosed, doesn’t mean you’re not sick," he says.

"The longer it takes to get a diagnosis, chances are you will be sicker and require more complex and expensive treatment and rehabilitation. The success of our health care system relies on diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation services and the highly skilled health science professionals who deliver them,” Johnson says.

“HSABC members care for patients every day. Our members take their commitment to protecting quality health care seriously. We’re blowing the whistle on the government’s claim that they are protecting health care services."

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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