LETTER: Improve health care for all

 Thank you for your recent profiles on the dedicated doctors who work at Surrey Memorial Hospital. It’s nice to see some positive stories on our public health care system. It is worth defending and improving for the benefit of all.

 Last month I participated in the Simon Fraser University Imagine BC Dialogue on health and community. As a health worker representative, I joined with doctors, professors, CEOs, policy makers and other interdisciplinary innovators to discuss many determinants of health including poverty, the role of family and community, the food we eat, toxins in our environment and other preventative measures – all of it reinforcing the notion that health is not merely the absence of illness or disease.

 We envisioned strengthening communities and bolstering the resilience of individuals. We discussed many ideas such as investing more in community-based health care – in particular home support services which allows seniors and  the disabled to remain in their homes and reduces the pressure on our acute care system.

 Also, we must not neglect the most vulnerable in our society or the health care workers who provide the valuable services. Our society, now and for the future, should be based on equity for all individuals rather than care and attention determined by the size of one’s bank balance.

 We must urge our political leadership and policy makers to do a better job of planning and preventing problems so that the best health for all British Columbians is not just in our imagination.

 The 2007 Dialogue Consensus statement will be posted soon on the Imagine BC Dialogue website at  www.imaginebc.ca


Lorene Oikawa


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