Independent Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad has introduced a petition in the legislature on behalf of healthcare heroes in BC.
It has garnered over 10-thousand signatures so far and is asking the province to repeal Bill 36.
In November, the province green-lit the Health Professions and Occupations Act, which will reduce the number of health colleges in BC from 15 down to six.
Rustad told Vista Radio this will further damage any recruitment and retention efforts the government is trying to accomplish.
“It creates an environment that is very negative for being able to attract and retain and keep professionals in the health care system. As you know, we face a healthcare crisis in BC, and anything that creates that negativity should not be considered at this time.”
He added our healthcare system is on the verge of collapsing and this piece of the legislature doesn’t help matters.
“Already in British Columbia because of the mandates that were put in place by the government, we have seen a loss of over six thousand health care professionals, doctors, and nurses that have either been fired, decided to leave, or retired. And that has left a tremendous hole in our healthcare system. We are seeing emergency rooms that are being shut down.”
Under the bill, the boards of these colleges will also be fully appointed by the government, rather than the current system where boards are partially elected by those in the profession.
“Professionals in the province of British Columbia, whether its health care or otherwise have a right to be governed by their peers. They are nominated and then elected to govern in their colleges. This takes it away and amalgamates all of these professional colleges into just a few and then has government appoint the people that govern this,” added Rustad.
Rustad then mentioned any healthcare worker who disagrees with a provincial mandate could face huge consequences if they speak out.
“More importantly, the mandates that are brought down by the government, if any health care professional decides to provide an opinion that might be contrary to this, they might be subjected to a $200,000 fine and six months in jail.”
For a link to Bill 36, click here.