Lumby isn’t alone in its fight for health care, with just one doctor serving the entire region.
While many believe that the problem is a doctor shortage, that isn’t the case. The problem boils down to dollars and cents.
Lumby is designated in the scale of doctors being remunerated at the lowest rate in the province thanks to an unfair points system. The system has Salmon Arm designated as more rural than Lumby therefore the Salmon Arm doctors get remunerated at a much higher rate as they are declared working in a much more rural setting, even though they are a city with a hospital.
The Lumby & District Health Services Society recently learned that Salmon Arm has successfully recruited five doctors, not only because they get paid more, but (according to the society) they are provided subsidies to continue medical education, whereas Lumby doctors do not qualify. Meanwhile Lumby, an obviously much more rural community, is a last choice for doctors due to the reduced incentive.
The standing committee for Rural Designation has received a letter from the health Society requesting a reassessment of the designation for Lumby.
There was a letter from the standing committee confirming they received the letter, but no commitments have been made.
While the village has agreed to provide a moving incentive to doctors willing to come to Lumby, more needs to be done to ensure everyone has access to health care.
Lumby just can’t compete on this uneven playing field, therefore the committee needs to fix the situation and create an environment to help serve all B.C. residents fairly.