July 20, 2024

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Health-care crisis: B.C. group release playbook of possible solutions

2 min read
Health-care crisis: B.C. group release playbook of possible solutions


It’s called the Community Healthcare System Support Playbook and it has been two years in the making.


According to its authors, it has the potential of fixing health care in communities across B.C. – and potentially the country.


“This is for communities to adopt as a whole,” said Dave Saunders, president of the Saunders Family Foundation. “This is just a different philosophy rather than funding.”


Saunders says it’s not about throwing gobs of taxpayers’ money at the problem. Instead, it’s about solving issues that affect everyone, from the community level.


“How do you do shift work if you don’t have daycare?” said Saunders.


Or if a nurse or locum comes to a new community, where does he or she live in a housing crisis?


Through hours of consultations with medical professionals and community stakeholders, Saunders says those were just a few of the issues that continued to come up.


The playbook addresses those problems, then provides communities with guidelines to follow to create a solution.


“Municipalities play a big part, they can implement this into their official community plans but it’s the community that needs to embrace supporting our health-care workers as a whole,” said Saunders.


Solutions include municipalities and developers working together to build units of housing that would be set aside for medical professional at an affordable rate. Another measure would be establishing 24-hour daycare and transit services. On the funding model, the playbook proposes estate planning for individuals.


“This is a concept that allows people to give in a professional way that helps our health-care system,” said the president of the Saunders Family Foundation.


The playbook began with Saunders brainstorming solutions. He then met with B.C.’s then-premier, John Horgan, who saw potential in his idea and offered a small amount of seed money.


On Tuesday night, Health Minister Adrian Dix will be on hand in Colwood as Saunders and his team officially release the playbook for municipalities and organizations to hopefully adopt.


“I’m really optimistic that this is going to get picked up by a lot of communities,” said Mark Holland, with Westplan Consulting Group.


Holland is a community planning expert and has been working on the project since almost day one.


He says if even just a few of the ideas within this playbook are embraced by communities, solutions to our provinces ongoing medical professional shortage can be solved.


“There is a probability that you will retain them and or attract more which is really what you want to do,” said Holland.


“This could empower communities to become involved, to give a signal of hope in a situation that we’re in a health-care crisis across Canada,” said Saunders. “This book is what that signal of hope is.” 

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