EDITORIAL: Victoria ignores Lumby’s needs

Anyone who stands in line at a walk-in or doesn’t have a family doctor knows there is an ever-growing shortage of family physicians

Over the years, the provincial government has made a lot out of the fact that it’s ensuring people have access to physicians.

However, anyone who stands in line at a walk-in or doesn’t have a family doctor knows there is an ever-growing shortage of family physicians across B.C.

And while many of the factors are out of Victoria’s control, the government is completely to blame for the situation unfolding in Lumby, where the community used to have three doctors and is on the verge of only having one.

And the reason the government is responsible for the situation is it owns the building that doctors use for offices. Not only has the rent been bumped up, but the physical condition of the structure is unacceptable.

Kevin Acton, Lumby’s mayor, has suggested that a possible solution is for local taxpayers to purchase the building and take on rentals and maintenance. And while that would resolve the issue, it would be another case of government downloading its responsibilities on to the back of local communities.

The real solution is for the government to take the necessary steps to bring the building up to acceptable standards for the physicians, and launch a campaign to try and recruit doctors for Lumby.

When contacted, MLA Eric Foster, who is a Lumby resident, said he is working on upgrades to the building and attracting physicians to town. That is great to hear, but the proof will be in the pudding. It’s time for Victoria to put its money where its mouth is.