Election promise: NDP pledges to build urgent family care centres

NDP Leader John Horgan began week 2 on Election campaign trail in Burnaby

promising to build urgent care centres to improve access to health care in BC.

Horgan made the announcement at a roundtable discussion at the home of a supporter in the Burnaby-Deer Lake riding.

“We wil build urgent family care centres that will be a go-between between the walk-in clinics that we have today and the clogged emergency rooms currently,” said Horgan.

The B.C. NDP Leader said the centres will be staffed with doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, mental health works and other front-line workers.

“[The Liberals] had a program. They called it GP For Me, and it didn’t work. And they haven’t replaced it,” said Horgan.

“We’re going to replace that program with one that puts teams together to provide services to people.”

Costs unclear

While the initiative pledges to improve access to primary health care, there are few details about where the money will come from, outside of the $7 billion additional dollars the NDP has pledged to spend on capital projects over five years.

“It’ll be within the existing health care budget which was fully costed in our fiscal plan,” said Horgan. “We want to assemble those teams in a cost-effective way.”

It’s also unclear how many centres the party would build and what the timeline would be.

“We’re going to build them as we need them in the areas that have the most demand. That’s where emergency rooms are the most clogged.”