By John Horgan, Leader, B.C.’s New Democrats

Vancouver: Families depend on our public healthcare system. For decades people have been able to rely on our fast, professional and effective public health care system to take care of their loved ones.

All that is under threat because of Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. They neglected health care for years, leaving patients to suffer in hallways and waiting too long for care in emergency rooms.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Christy Clark is quietly planning to open private hospitals where her rich donors can get to the front of the line for health care, while ordinary families wait. She wants to take public health care dollars and turn them into private profit.

As one BC Liberal candidate, put it, she supports “the privatization to a certain extent of our health-care system.”

That’s wrong. It’s offensive. And BC NDP Leader John Horgan would put an immediate stop to it.

Our health care system should treat everyone according to their needs, not according to their bank accounts. Life is unaffordable enough after 16 years of bad BC Liberal choices without families having to worry if they can afford to get the best health care for the people they love.

The BC NDP is committed to protecting and improving our public healthcare system. That means investing in improving and replacing aging hospitals that aren’t meeting the needs of families, and creating urgent care clinics that will connect people with primary care teams and get people out of emergency rooms.

People are tired of being bounced from walk-in clinic to walk-in clinic because they can’t find a family doctor. They are tired of having to take time off work to go to doctors’ appointments because their family doctor’s office is only open from 9 to 5.

The NDP will fix it. Urgent care clinics will give families access to team-based primary care – and they will be open on evenings and weekends so that people can get the care they need, when they need it.

And we’re going to get people out of hallways and into real beds in hospitals, and bring down waitlists. People have been waiting in pain for too long with Christy Clark.

The BC Liberals have had 16 years to make public health care better and it has only gotten worse. They failed to fix the services that people count on.

Now we know why Christy Clark hasn’t made fixing our health care system a priority. Instead of working for families, Christy Clark was working for her rich donors on a plan to undermine public health care by opening private hospitals.

It’s time for a government that is working for ordinary people not just people who write big cheques for Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

We can’t afford another four years of bad choices that only benefit Christy Clark’s rich donors and big corporations.