Subject: Telus Health’s services are under review following two-level medical care allegations
We seniors are surprised but pleased to learn that Health Secretary Adrian Dix asked the Medical Services Commission several months ago to look at the ways Telus Health is promoting unequal access to health care and a two-tier health system in this province. We now expect Secretary of State Dix not to delay the publication of the results of the evaluation and to take immediate steps to ensure that all backdoor privatizations of primary health care are stopped immediately.
Telus Health is the tip of the iceberg. Telus is not the only healthcare company that has been allowed to conduct its business in BC without regulation. It is open season for frail seniors.
The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO BC) is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that represents the 80,000 members of 70 member senior organizations across the province. We are hearing from our members that seniors’ access to primary health care has deteriorated significantly and, even as the worst impacts of COVID diminish, access to quality primary health care has not improved. Appointments with GPs can last for weeks, and then they are often over the phone and very short. Seniors with multiple chronic health conditions suffer the most. We also know that most seniors in BC simply cannot afford to pay for the enhanced access to primary care physicians that Telus Health offers.
Leslie Gaudette, Chair, COSCO, and Kathleen Jamieson, Chair, COSCO Health Committee
More needed to fight epidemics
As Canada celebrates Pride Month in June, it gives us the opportunity to examine the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world, especially in the LGBTQ2+ community. community.
Along with other community groups, increased inequality has made the LGBTQ2+ community more vulnerable to these epidemics. HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and in 2020 HIV/AIDS prevention programs and testing declined by 11% and 22% respectively from 2019, holding back treatment initiation in many countries. An estimated 115 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, and HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined have killed more people than COVID-19. For the first time in ten years, the number of people dying from tuberculosis, the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS, has increased.
We need more than biomedical interventions. Health for all cannot be achieved without safeguarding human rights and building a more just world. We need universal recognition and implementation of more people-centered services that holistically address the health needs of individuals and empower affected communities and people. So it is imperative that Canada reaffirms its commitment to ending these epidemics by investing in the Global Fund.
Julie Yoon, Vancouver
System ready warning
Re: BC launches extreme heat warning system
I appreciate a system that alerts me to urgent or impending disasters such as tornadoes, tsunamis, missing children, floods or fires. Usually I can then take action to protect myself or my community.
A notification on my phone that it is hot seems like a huge waste of time and money. What shall I do? If I am disadvantaged and have no air conditioning, water or a cool place to go, how can this warning save me? If I don’t already know it’s hot, am I just help?
I would prefer to be notified by phone when a primary care physician near me becomes available or when an affordable home pops up. Even when I’m 79, I hope I’m not so far off that I need my government to spend taxpayers’ money telling me when it’s hot.
John Martin, Delta
Liberal party name change: it’s time
Re: BC Liberal convention to focus on party name change
At the BC Liberal convention in Penticton on June 11, delegates approved a process to potentially change the party’s name by the end of the year. It will be time. Everyone knows that the BC Liberals are liberal in name only.
Since BC’s Conservative Party name is already in use, here are five possibilities:
1. BC New Conservative Party
2. BC New Social Credit Party
3. BC . People’s Party
4. BC RepubliCanuck Party
or, to try and confuse NDP voters,
5. NCP (the No Christy Party)
David Buckna, Kelowna
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