Health Services Minister Shirley Bond flatly denies suggestions by NDP leader Carole James that the province is accelerating the privatization of health care.
“Once again, Carole James in fearmongering,” Bond said Friday afternoon, in response to James’s statements.
The NDP leader said an “aggressive” defence of the Liberal record by finance minister Colin Hansen that contracting out health services was a better value for taxpayers was a sign that the Liberals plan to step up privatization.
“If health care privatization was such a good deal, patient care in B.C. would be improving. But it’s not,” James said. “After four years of privatization, patient care is getting much worse. And pressing even further to privatize services will only hurt patients more.”
But Bond said James doesn’t have her facts straight.
“Private clinics almost doubled under the NDP,” she said. “W have the highest spending on health care in the history of the province, and that’s going to continue. We have added $3 billion to the system, and added capacity for almost 70,000 more procedures.
“Our agenda is simply to have a top-notch public health care system.”
James said waitlists have lengthened and emergency rooms have become more crowded since the Liberals took power, and vowed to halt privatization and focus on patients rather than profits.
“My plan protects and improves public health care,” she said. “Gordon Campbell’s plan means more privatization, longer waitlists, and dirty overcrowded hospitals.”