Leaked memo shows Island Health is planning cuts to address Christy Clark underfunding

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VICTORIA— A leaked memo from Island Health Authority shows that Premier Christy Clark’s underfunding of healthcare is forcing the authority to make cuts and put patients at risk.

Island Health president Brendan Carr sent a memo to senior staff indicating that the health authority is facing a shortfall of as much as $12 million and is planning to reduce services to patients to make up for the underfunding.

“The government has underfunded health authorities because Premier Christy Clark decided that the needs of patients take a back seat to her political needs,” said New Democrat Official Opposition health spokesperson Judy Darcy.  “At a time when patients are already waiting too long for quality health care, it’s unacceptable for the Premier and her government to further reduce services.

“In the middle of a fentanyl overdose crisis, managers are now looking to make cuts to services, because that’s Premier Christy Clark’s priority.

“Patients in British Columbia have some of the longest wait times in Canada for some crucial surgeries. Waits for diagnostics are also unacceptably high. Further cuts are going to leave patients lingering in pain.”

Carr’s memo instructs staff to find savings and says that while no staff will lose their jobs, managers are encouraged to not fill vacancies.

“Unfilled vacancies mean cuts to patient services,” said Darcy. “It means fewer workers looking after our loved ones in hospitals or care homes.

“B.C. New Democrats are going to keep working to defend the needs of patients who can’t afford another four years of Christy Clark’s government.”

Read the memo here: Island Health memo