Original Published October 6, 2022

Jeff Burgar

A few weeks ago, we wrote the City of Grande Prairie, Alberta is working together with some neighbours on attracting and keeping doctors in their communities. In the same column, we wrote how some British Columbia communities were taking resolutions to their annual conference on pretty well the same topic.


The nurse/doctor ‘problem’ is right across Canada.

Every week, we learn of new or ongoing shortages in communities from Squamish in British Columbia, to Medicine Hat, to Nunavut, to Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.


Last week, it was announced our own local Grimshaw/Berwyn health centre emergency department will close nightly until Oct. 31,2022. Just more fuel on the fire.


This crisis is years in the making. If somebody has a magic hammer, and magic nails and boards to shore up this crumbling structure, they sure aren’t talking. This should concern all of us.


Sadly, it’s considered normal practice in political circles that if you don’t talk about things, you can either fix them behind the scenes, or they will just fix themselves.


So we have leadership saying “never use the ‘R’ word when a recession is happening, because you know, that will just make things worse.” Or “never let the public know how bad the situation is because you know, we don’t want to panic them.”


So we have overpaid fat butt bureaucrats, many making several hundred thousand dollars per year, spending much of their time telling the public lies.


“That ain’t somebody pissing on your shoes. It’s just a little bit of rain.”


“You think you have a doctor problem? Heck, tough it out. Here is a secret: Most of the country has doctor problems. Learn to deal with it. In the meantime, I have to drive to Falher to pee on some shoes. Got to earn my pay you know.”


Just because most of the country has problems doesn’t mean the situation is acceptable. But that is what our leadership wants us to believe. Sick people, it would seem, do not get interviewed by media and are too often too weak to vote.


Here are just a few thoughts: It’s often said by authorities, “You can’t tell people where to live.” Meaning it’s too bad no medical people want to move to your town.

That’s a crock, of course! Tell a nurse in Calgary she/he either misses the next five pay raises if he doesn’t move to Fairview, or he gets a fat bonus every three months he spends in Valleyview. That can go a long way!


Or how about, “We can’t let foreign medical pros work in Canada because they don’t have our standards?” Great! When it’s minus 40, do I care if I wear a parka from Canada Goose, or from Cheap – o – Rama?


There is so much more to be said here. But, as said by one B.C. community politician, “We have to work together. Otherwise, we are going to be fighting each other, and throwing money at the problems and never really finding solutions.”


First step would be getting rid of the people who spent the past years, so many making hundreds of thousands per year, getting us into this mess.

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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