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2011 04 23 MEDIA RELEASE Healthcare Forum

2011 04 23 MEDIA RELEASE Healthcare Forum

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Published by: KelownaLiberals on Apr 25, 2011
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, April 23, 2011 HEALTHCARE FORUM OPENS NECESSARY CONVERSATION In the spirit of public consultation

, Kelowna–Lake Country Liberal candidate Kris Stewart hosted an open forum on healthcare today at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. The forum was a free, non-partisan event featuring a panel of local doctors and public policy experts discussing healthcare in Canada and responding to questions from participants. The session was moderated by thoracic surgeon, Dr Michael Humer, who noted at the start of the forum that, “The Canada Health Act reflects a lot of the values we have as Canadians.” Dr Humer was joined by his colleagues Dr Marjorie Docherty, a family physician who works with the physician licensing authority in BC, and Dr Kong Khoo, a medical oncologist and cancer care advocate. Dr Docherty provided poignant insights into the limits of the current system, and the suffering endured by patients as they wait to undergo necessary tests or care. She also noted that, “We have a mentality that everything should be free, but it’s not free. It costs us all a lot. And we should each be accountable for the decisions we make that influence our health.” When challenged by an audience member about the role of prevention, Dr Khoo said that the medical community can only do so much. “Prevention is about more than just what we do, it’s about the determinants of health. Prevention is about clean water, clean air, reducing poverty, exercise, nutrition, education—those things are outside the medical system and happen at a societal level.” Also on the panel were two UBC Okanagan professors: government policy expert Dr Barrie McCullough and public finance economist Dr Ross Hickey. One heartbreaking case raised by an audience member, the grandfather of Jessica Bondar, provoked an interesting policy discussion. Miss Bondar died at the age of 19 while awaiting a heart transplant. While Dr McCullough highlighted the challenge of respecting Charter rights in trying to expand the pool of organ donors, Dr Hickey suggested adding incentives to get people to “make the right decision”: “If you were to give $30 to Canada Blood Services, you get a tax receipt. If you give a pint of blood, you get nothing.” The discussion also considered whether other health professionals can provide the services traditionally provided by physicians. Dr Humer conceded, “as physicians, we have not been as collaborative as we might be,” though he added that his thoracic surgery practice group employs a nurse practitioner. Stewart was pleased with the event’s outcome. “We began an important conversation in the lead-up to negotiating the Health Care Accord in 2014, about where our priorities as a society lead us in healthcare. That’s work that we need to do now. Waiting three years will be too late.”

Kelowna—Lake Country Federal Liberal Association

Stewart holds a nursing degree and an MBA, has worked in the private and public sectors, and practiced in the US, Canadian arctic, and remote BC communities. This background of diverse practice settings and patient populations gives her a unique perspective on healthcare. ### Please direct your inquiries to:


Islam Mohamed, Campaign Manager and spokesperson for Ms Kris Stewart president@kelownaliberals.ca 250.868.1847

Kelowna—Lake Country Federal Liberal Association

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