Two views of B.C. health spending

Gregory Thomas

As the B.C. government presents its latest budget and awaits a new premier to set the direction of government, here are two very divergent views of the direction the province’s finances are headed.

Gregory Thomas, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, points to another operating deficit, with $440 million in spending overruns, much of it in health care.

“Spending grew 4.3 per cent year over year. Spending grew faster than the economy. Spending grew faster than the inflation rate. Spending grew faster than the population,” Thomas said. “The finance minister’s number one job is to control spending, so I’d have to say Hansen flunked this year on that basis.”

Judy D’Arcy, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees Union, said there is a lot of “fear mongering” about health care spending, but in fact B.C.’s expenditures as a share of the economy have remained stable over 10 years.

“If you talk about a status quo budget in health care, what that means is families are paying more for Medical Services Plan premiums out of their own pockets,” D’Arcy said. “It means health care workers continue to be stretched to the limit. And for seniors, because of these new residential care fee hikes, seniors are paying more out of their own pocket for their own care in the last year of their lives.”

Just Posted

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

New riverfront path under development

A path suitable for mobility scooters, pedestrians, cyclists and baby strollers

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read