BC United announces ‘Patient Bill of Rights’

BC United is committed to a new bill that would publicly fund treatments at private health-care clinics in B.C.

BC United Leader Kevin Falcon was in Surrey today (June 26) to announce the party’s commitment to a Patient Bill of Rights, which the party says will reduce wait times and connect people with health care faster.

The ‘United to Fix Healthcare’ Patient Bill of Rights will give British Columbians a guarantee of transparency, accountability, and timely access to care, states a party release.

“Patients and families are suffering from unacceptable wait times due to years of mismanagement and an ideology-driven health-care system under the NDP. B.C.’s health-care system is in complete disarray. The status quo simply is not working,” said Falcon.

Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss, physician at Surrey Memorial Hospital and BC United candidate for Surrey-Cloverdale, said the move will “expand capacity for patients currently on wait lists.”

“It will immediately help the public system deliver certain treatments through private clinics, at no cost to patients, as well as give patients the ability to access their own health records. And, real accountability will be realized by transparently reporting how the government is meeting care standards.” Storness-Bliss said in the release.

Key components of the BC United Patient Bill of Rights include:

• Publicly funded health care delivered at private facilities: If the public system leaves patients on wait lists or forced to receive care in the United States, a BC United government will use existing private health providers in B.C., at no cost to patients, to deliver publicly funded care. 

• Transparent access to your health records: Within two years, patients will easily be able to access their health records on their mobile devices.

• Specific health-care performance targets: Patients will see how the health-care system is performing through specific, measurable targets that are transparently reported on.

“By allowing publicly paid-for access to privately run clinics, at no cost to patients, we are offering immediate solutions to reduce wait times while beginning an expansion of the physical health-care infrastructure of our province. In fact, the government already uses public funds to pay for procedures at private clinics for a variety of people, including WorkSafeBC clients and Canadian Armed Forces members.” added Shirley Bond, BC United’s shadow minister of health, former Minister of Health and BC United candidate for Prince George-Valemount.

“Providing access to health records and setting and reporting on specific, measurable targets will give patients more control over their care and importantly drive greater accountability for results,” she said.

Falcon says the plan would make health care “more accessible, efficient, and patient-focused.”

“Our plan embraces change and innovation and focuses entirely on improving results, while recognizing that the status quo for healthcare in British Columbia is failing health-care providers and patients alike,” he said.

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