You play a big role in telling our story

The Report: June 2010 vol.31 num.3

FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, we have been working as a union to raise the profile of health science professionals. We've used many tools: advertising campaigns, sponsorship of community events like Run for the Cure, our constituency liaison program, our excellent relationships with professional associations.

We're about to launch another ad campaign; a bold and creative campaign which will present our members as intrinsic to the solution to long wait lists, the public's biggest concern about health care. You'll be seeing it about the time this issue of The Report arrives in your mailbox.

As I was very pleased to report to delegates attending our 2010 Convention in April, we are gaining ground on the recognition you deserve as critical members of the modern health care team. The public and the government know more about who you are. They understand the value you bring to the health care system.

But we have more to do.

Later this year we will publish a report on the rapid deterioration of access to rehabilitation services to British Columbians.

As part of this research, we learned that many people end physiotherapy treatment before they feel it is appropriate because they lack extended health benefits, or their plan doesn't provide enough coverage.

One of the biggest contributors to the loss of rehabilitation services has been the shift from public to private provision of rehabilitation. More and more, Canadians rely on benefit plans to fund their rehabilitation needs. And since just half of Canadians even have extended health benefits, and those benefits are shrinking as plan administrators look to cut costs, access to rehabilitation is getting harder and harder.

But you already know all about that. You already know better than anyone that the services you deliver are getting harder and harder for British Columbians to use.

There's nobody better to tell that story. The public trusts health science professionals. You are the people who deliver the services day in and day out.

And you need to tell that story.

Over the past year, I have been meeting with members around the province. And what I know about our members is that you all have so much to offer for the good health of British Columbians.

You're passionate about your work.

You're passionate about your community.

You're passionate about the services you deliver to build a better community.

Our health care system can't function without that commitment.

Our communities can't function without that commitment.

That's your commitment. I know, because every time I meet an HSA member, every time I talk to a friend or family member who counts on your expertise, that passion to deliver quality care is front and centre.

You've all made a commitment to delivering quality health care. And I make a commitment to you that HSA will be front and centre in the fight for those services all of us count on.

Reid Johnson is President of the HSA.