Throne speech fails to address critical shortages in health care

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Critical shortages of health science
professionals will continue to grow, thanks to the lack of planning exhibited
by the BC Liberal government in the Speech from the Throne, HSA President Reid
Johnson said today.
    "I had hoped today's plan from government would include some concrete
steps toward real solutions to the growing crisis of shortages of highly
skilled and specialized health science professionals in the health care
system," Johnson said.
    "Instead of dealing with shortages with a comprehensive plan for training
skilled professionals in the diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation
professions, more responsibilities are being heaped onto already overworked
nurses," Johnson said.
    "That's not a recipe for a stronger and more responsive health care
system," he said.
    Johnson said the government's lack of planning will hurt British
Columbians in the long-term.
    "British Columbians needed a commitment today that would make a
difference to the diagnostic wait lists - that includes an immediate plan to
train the health science professionals we need today and into the future," he
    Several recent reports have shown that shortages of specialized
diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation health science professionals will
continue to grow in British Columbia.
    For example, a Fraser Health Authority report estimates that B.C. will
need an additional 1154 staff in diagnostic imaging by 2015. BCIT is expected
to train only 600 by then, meaning there will be a shortfall of 500 medical
imaging professionals in just seven years.

    The Health Sciences Association of BC is the union that represents 15,000
health science professionals who work in the diagnostic, clinical and
rehabilitation professions and are a critical part of the health care team.

For further information:

For further information: Miriam Sobrino, Director of Communications,
(604) 439-0994, or cell: (604) 970-8196

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Health Sciences Association of British Columbia

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