The BC Nurses Union (BCNU) is applauding the provincial government after they handed out $322 million to combat the opioid crisis that has ravaged many parts of the province.
The money will try and provide some much-needed relief for healthcare workers. “The opioid crisis is having a devastating impact on our communities and British Columbia nurses are burning out under extra pressures based on what is happening in our emergency rooms and addiction centers and prevention sites,” says Sharon Sponton, BCNU treasurer.
The NDP government also invested an additional $291 million for new modular units for the homeless population and 1,700 more affordable rental units.
A person’s well-being has also become a multifaceted process noted Sponton. “The BCNU believes that individual health is a complete sense of not only mental and physical but also socio economic well-being. So it’s the social determinants of health that are still very important for the residents of BC.”
One notable omission from Monday’s budget update was the $10-a-day child care plan that was heavily championed by the NDP during this spring’s election campaign.
Sponton adds that program might take a little longer to develop than first thought. “Certainly we want to see child care issues addressed – that’s part of the again the holistic well-being of the communities and the people of British Columbia and we’ll wait and see where that goes.”
The BCNU remains confident that steps will be taken to improve the situation of the province’s less fortunate like raising welfare rates and the minimum wage.
Medical Service Premiums are slated to be slashed by 50% starting on January 1, 2018.
They are expected to be wiped out completely by 2021.