As part of their Election Coverage, the Daily News is asking questions of the candidates and printing their replies in the Wednesday and Friday editions of the paper.
The following was the "Pressing Question" for Friday, May 8, 2009, the last we would gather of the question and answer sessions for this campaign.
"What needs to be done to encourage doctors to move to the riding?"
Gary Coons -- New Democratic Party
People throughout BC do not nave regular access to a doctor, and we have a real shortage on the North Coast. To increase the number of rural physicians we need to increase medical school enrollment, the number of foreign-trained MDs and create financial incentives.
A strong rural health strategy that focuses on local needs with local input is needed. Physicians need to practise in modern rural health care facilities supported by a referral network that functions well.
The BC NDP will establish a Health Quality Council to look at best-practices that move toward affordable health care through innovation, not privatization.
Lisa Girbav – Green Party
The best way to keep people in a region is to train people from that region. As well, we could entice doctors to come by providing pay back incentives for graduating doctors willing to staff rural facilities where recruitment is currently a problem. Then we could establish 2417 clinics in rural areas (such as Haida Gwaii) staffed by salaried doctors and nurses able to perform emergency surgical services.
Thank you for reading my responses during this election campaign. I hope you will vote for me (after all, I would vote for you).
Herb Pond – Liberal Party of British Columbia
In the first place community leaders must present a positive image of the region. Negativity drives people away.
The province and Northern Health playa role in attracting professionals to British Columbia.
As MLA I will work to entrench our region within the provincial recruitment program.
A strong local economy is important. We must find the resources to maintain and improve recreational, social and cultural facilities and programs. Doctors and other profes ionals consider their families when deciding on a new home. We must be able to sell our communities to potential recruits. The communities must close the deal.