NDP Health critic Mike Farnworth speaks with Chilliwack-Hope MLA Gwen O’Mahony in the hallway of Lynnwood Retirement Residence on Tuesday afternoon.

Spend existing dollars better: NDP health critic

NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth stopped by Chilliwack on Tuesday to discuss healthcare with local seniors at Lynnwood Retirement Residence.

NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth stopped by Chilliwack on Tuesday to discuss healthcare with local seniors at Lynnwood Retirement Residence.

Seniors will make up nearly one-fifth of Chilliwack’s population by 2030. The health concerns brought on by a rapidly aging population are key campaign topics in the upcoming provincial election.

One concern that Chilliwack seniors had is wait times for procedures that greatly affect a person’s quality of life.

“When someone’s having to wait almost three years to get a bladder procedure that takes two hours to be done that prevents him from being incontinent, when you’re 72, that’s pretty debilitating in terms of your ability to live an active and productive life,” said Farnworth.

Farnworth’s message was that it is not a question of putting more money into health care, but rather using existing funds more efficiently.

This applies to Chilliwack General Hospital’s chronic over-capacity emergency room.

“In the Lower Mainland, that’s one of the key issues. We’re growing very fast. It’s not a case of just throwing money at it…There’s different issues in the community. Let’s work with the physicians in those communities. Let’s work with the BCMA (B.C. Medical Association), identity what the issues are…and get them fixed.”

Farnworth did not provide solutions specific to Chilliwack’s context, instead speaking about issues on a provincial level.

“Whether it’s emergency rooms, and having a plan to deal with them, and identifying problems, or gaps in the ability to provide services such as dialysis, it’s not going to take huge amounts of money sometimes to fix some of these problems. Or, it’s a reconfiguration of services within the health authority that will allow additional services.”

To free up resources, Farnworth suggests using technology better, setting up more efficient referral systems, using more nurse practitioners, and hiring more salaried physicians.

On the issue of water chlorination in Chilliwack, Farnworth said that “health and safety have to come first.”

MLA Chilliwack-Hope Gwen O’Mahony said that she is conducting research on the issue, and will present her results at the all-candidates’ debates.

“I have followed up as MLA. I have been writing letters and investigating specific concerns by community members. I’m sure as we head into this election, the chlorination issue is going to come up,” she said.


Just Posted

Hospice to B.C. council race candidate dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

RCMP ask for help to locate missing Chilliwack man

Kyle Travis Neil travelling in a red, Ford F250 and he maybe be in need of medical attention

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

B.C. watching Trans Mountain review, George Heyman says

Court decision stalling pipeline ‘validates’ environmental concerns

New concert series focuses on Fraser Valley musicians

Valley Music Co.’s Listen Local Concert Series begins Sept. 28 at High Street mall

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

VIDEO: Replica Haida totem pole raised at B.C. park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

Most Read