Taking your message to Victoria
HSA REPORT, JUNE 2014
On May 1st, a group of 20 HSA members from around the province and from a range of professions spent the day in Victoria.
Meeting with key decision makers in the areas of health care, community social services, skills training, job creation and advanced education, they raised HSA's profile and discussed issues of importance to members with cabinet ministers and opposition critics.
President Val Avery, and several regional directors and constituency liaisons, started the day by hosting a breakfast for MLAs. Members and their MLAs sat together in regional groups, getting to know each other, and discussing local issues.
Members then attended Question Period in the Legislature, where HSA was introduced by Minister of Health, Terry Lake. Several members were also introduced by their local MLAs.
Throughout the rest of the day, HSA members met in small groups with cabinet ministers, MLAs from all parties, and influential ministry and political staff, to discuss issues of concern to our members.
HSA's main message was that BC has serious shortages in several health science professions that are contributing to longer wait lists, reduced quality of patient care, and increasing health care costs. HSA representatives outlined the need for more training and clinical practicum spaces, as well as for competitive wages and benefits to be able to recruit and retain these scarce professionals.
"This was our second full day of direct meetings with government and opposition members," said HSA President Val Avery. "Our first was two years ago, and even though there are a lot of new members in this government, it was clear that these meetings, our advertising and other efforts are having an effect. Government members knew much more about HSA and the work of our members. They were pleased to meet with us, interested in our message, and while we didn't agree on everything, the meetings helped establish a constructive relationship and a way forward."
If you'd like to get involved in the Constituency Liaison program, contact Carol Riviere at @email.