The ex-Attorney General and Minister for Housing in BC is looking to possibly become the new Premier as he runs for leadership.
David Eby stated one of his first priorities is housing.
“I think it’s up to the provincial government now to address the market failure to make that housing available for people to purchase. There are lots of places that do this, Whistler has a Housing Authority— Singapore, they have ninety percent home ownership and the significant majority of their housing is government built,” Eby said. “So, we can solve this problem. We have the land, we have the resources, partner with First Nations, private sector… Let’s get it done.”
His second priority was focusing on mental health, while the third is getting more family doctors in BC.
“Especially with mental health and addiction issues, the drugs got more toxic, services weren’t available, and it really brought to light some of the frailties in our system. I think that a couple of pieces are really vital around mental health and addiction. In particular just the availability of treatment and support for those struggling with mental health issues,” said Eby. “We’ve done some really good work on addiction in terms of working with Health Canada around prevention sites and so on. That treatment to be available, enough support for people who are really struggling is absolutely vital. I know a lot of people are turning to family doctors— if they have them— to help support them on this kind of thing, and if they don’t have a family doctor there are not a lot of fun places to go.”
On the Sunshine Coast, a lack of walk-in clinics was noted.
“This is really [difficult?] for British Columbians, and it’s not just the Sunshine Coast and Nanaimo,” said Eby, “it’s all over the province. There are a lot of family doctors retiring, we need to do a couple of things. One is align the incentives, align the pay for family doctors with what we want them to do— which is to have a relationship with someone from birth to end of life, to know their family, and to do that family practice we’re all looking for from a family doctor.”
Eby states just paying doctors more will not solve the shortage, but having more nurses, nurse practitioners, will provide doctors more support, and allow some work to be taken off of them.
The full interview is available here.