I read with pleasure Dr Brian Day’s lament about the mounting inadequacies of the hospital, physician, and nursing sectors over recent decades [BCMJ 2022;64:53-54]. The burning reality in BC, and certainly in Victoria, is the astonishing deficiency of family doctors, which has resulted in more than 750 000 individuals across the province finding basic health care to be inaccessible. Yet nobody is doing much about it.
The recent BC budget failed to immediately increase funding for family doctors’ low fees. Were there supplemental overhead cost allowances? Was there an enthusiastic endorsement for a realistic alternative to the fee-for-service salary structure? Could an obligation be created for medical schools to channel and support students entering family medicine residencies? How does our BC government justify collecting taxes to support medical services that are simply unavailable? We seem to have few answers that satisfy.
—Neil Finnie, MD (retired)
This letter was submitted in response to “The crisis that COVID-19 exposed, highlighted, and worsened (but did not cause).”
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