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Communities make plea for urgent action to address B.C.’s emergency care crisis

UBCM delegates pass special resolution calling for more government support as ERs face closures
The Union of B.C. Municipalities wants B.C.’s hospitals, emergency rooms, and ambulance services are open and available to 24 hours a day. Josh Berson photo

Delegates at the 2022 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) are calling on the provincial government to take immediate action to deal with the health care crisis.

In a special resolution passed Wednesday (Sept. 14) morning the UBCM asked the provincial government to take what the resolution calls “urgent steps to ensure hospitals, emergency rooms, and ambulance services are open and available to 24 hours a day.”

The resolution also calls on the provincial government to increase funding and training opportunities for health care professionals to “ensure appropriate and necessary” levels of care.

The passage of the resolution appears against the backdrop of closed emergency rooms across the province and the lack of ambulance services, especially but not exclusively in the interior of British Columbia.

According to UBCM background material, hospitals in British Columbia’s Interior have experienced the most emergency room closures in 2022. Hospitals that announced reduced services were closed for more than 16 hours on average, the material states.

The resolution comes after health minister Adrian Dix received criticism for failing to announce any concrete steps the province is taking to solve the healthcare crisis.

The UBCM — which represents 189 local governments — is hosting its annual convention this week in Whistler.

RELATED: Dix offers words but no prescription as B.C. municipalities demand healthcare solutions

READ ALSO: 8-month-old baby dies in B.C. Interior town while waiting for ambulance

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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