Davies, northern MLAs look for immediate solutions to healthcare crisis with Health Minister Dix

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River North MLA Dan Davies says “our healthcare system is on life support right no…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River North MLA Dan Davies says “our healthcare system is on life support right now in the northeast.”

Davies and a handful of BC Liberal MLAs are in meetings this week in Vancouver, trying to find more rapid solutions for the growing problem of healthcare in the north.

The pandemic’s fourth wave has put a strain on ICU occupancy with more serious cases requiring intensive care, but Davies says many hospitals and healthcare workers in the north were operating well below the minimum requirement since long before the pandemic.

“Some shifts are down to one RN. We’re overrun right now with COVID-19 patients, many of them very serious,” said Davies on Wednesday. “Vancouver and Victoria have opened up beds for our patients to go down there because we just don’t have room in Northern Health anymore.”

Davies commends the work of all healthcare professionals.

“All the nurses and healthcare professionals are doing the best they can. Please be patient with the system, and be respectful.”

Davies says he and his peers have been in discussion with Health Minister Dix, with more conversations to come.

“I’ve spoken to Health Minister Dix this morning, and he’s obviously very aware of the critical situation. But, we need action today, not a plan for down the road. We need decisive action, boots on the ground today. I was very clear with minister Dix that we need every tool in the toolbox to get agency nurses up here, to get things sorted out.”

Davies joined MLA Nathan Cullen on CBC Daybreak North on Wednesday morning to discuss the issue of overworked nurses.

“Some of them are working 40 consecutive shifts, and we can’t sustain that. They can’t sustain that, our system cannot sustain that. And, with the number of cases rising, it’s really concerning,” said Davies during the segment.

He says the system is on life support, and we need something to happen.

“The easiest thing right now is, folks, I strongly, strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. The science is sound, the vaccines work, we’ve seen the people that are getting cases right now, the ones in our ICU, it’s upwards of 90 per cent of those folks that are not vaccinated that are filling up our ICU right now.”

According to a post on Facebook by Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, COVID-19 cases are higher in the north than in any other region in British Columbia.

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