Sunday, March 31, 2013
Health Spending Duels Heat Up
NDP lack 'competing ideas' say Liberals
Released by Sam Oliphant, BC Liberal Caucus
s the BC NDP mark the anniversary of when MLA Gwen O'Mahony said their platform would be released, confusion continues to swirl around what an NDP government would do - this time on health care.
Speaking in Chilliwack, NDP health critic Mike Farnworth said: "It is spending smarter. It is having the right priorities and it is using the resources that you have as efficiently as possible."
When pressed by local reporters about spending even more money, Farnworth repeatedly said: "it's not a question of more money."
This is at odds with comments from his colleagues and himself - who have repeatedly said the $2.4 billion increase in health care spending in Budget 2013 was not enough.
In fact, Adrian Dix has said an NDP priority would be to make B.C. "amongst the highest in Canada in terms of per capita support for health care".
"It seems Adrian Dix can't make up his mind on what they're going to do - even on something as important as health care," said John Martin, Today's BC Liberal candidate for Chilliwack. "Strong leadership means having a clear vision and the NDP simply don't have one."
"Do they want to simply be the highest in per capita spending, or do they want to focus on having the most efficient delivery of health services?", asked Martin. "Dix and the NDP can't have it both ways."
"This election is about a competition of ideas and we're not getting any from Adrian Dix and the NDP," added Martin. "We have a clear plan - people know we are focused on growing the economy and how we're going to balance the budget."
"The NDP have been promising to reveal their plans well before the election and have failed to do it," concluded Martin.
"We would be looking to be amongst the highest in Canada in terms of per capita support for health care. You know, it's dropped from third to eighth under the Liberals. So that would be a high priority for us." - Adrian Dix, CFAX, Oct 15/07
"The rate of increase that's been assigned to health care in this budget is a rate that cannot be sustained, is not good for the system." - Bruce Ralston, Hansard, Feb 20/13
"Health spending is decreased in this budget compared to what was projected in the last budget for this coming year. The projection that just over a 2 percent increase will meet the growing needs isn't realistic when you look at the trends of the past few years of growth in the 3 to 4 percent range. In fact, this represents a $131 million decrease from what was planned for this year in the previous budget for health authorities." - Doug Donaldson, Hansard, Feb 28/13
"The health budget is now pegged at $235 million. It's less than projected in previous budgets. This will result in cuts across the system. Madam Speaker, if you think there are problems in Surrey Memorial Hospital today.. People have to go and line up and stand and wait in the emergency ward for six, seven or eight hours, sometimes longer. What will happen when they don't get the increase in resources that they need to meet the growing demand of their community?" - Harry Bains, Hansard, Feb 27/13
"My other concern is that the Liberals have deliberately underestimated the cost of many, many programs in order to make this bogus budget balance. When the money runs out, just as it happened in 2009, we will see cuts to front-line services for some of our most vulnerable citizens, including children in care and adults with developmental disabilities. The Health budget increase is $233 million less than projected in the previous budget. This will result in cuts across the system, cuts to a system that is struggling to make ends meet now." - Katrine Conroy, Hansard, Feb 21/13
"Instead, we have a bogus budget predicated on land sales, predicated on massive cuts to areas that should not be cut, like post-secondary education, like forestry. We've got numbers in health care. We have a lift, but that lift is just not going to address some of the major issues that we're facing in health care today. When you look at these numbers, the only conclusion that you can come up with is that this budget is not balanced." - Michelle Mungall, Hansard, Feb 27/13
"In fact, in health totally, there are going to be cuts. The government says there's an increase, but the increase is so slight that there are going to be cuts. We know we need to do health differently, but this budget - this austerity budget, this bogus budget - is going to mean wait-lists. There's no doubt about it." - Claire Trevena, Hansard, Feb 20/13
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