NDP delay long-overdue medical school while healthcare crisis worsens

VICTORIA (November 28, 2022) – While B.C. continues to grapple with a worsening healthcare crisis, the NDP are once again delaying the second medical school they promised more than two years ago.

“The NDP promised to create a second medical school back in October 2020 and said we could expect graduates as soon as the 2023 school year. Today’s announcement that B.C. won’t see new doctors graduate from SFU until 2030 is devastating news for those expecting swift action from their government in the middle of a healthcare crisis,” said MLA Shirley Bond, BC United Health Critic. “According to BC Family Doctors, 40 per cent of B.C.’s family physicians will retire in the next 10 years and it will be impossible to fill the gap. The NDP’s decade-long wait from announcement to new doctors is completely unacceptable and yet another broken promise.”

The NDP’s 2020 election platform promised they would be “launching B.C.’s second medical school to expand our health care workforce,” with Health Minister Adrian Dix saying “the first graduating class could be 2023-24.” Since then, the NDP have dragged their feet on the project, failing to provide any funding for it in two consecutive budgets.

“If the NDP had immediately started work on this SFU medical school as they promised, we could be seeing results as early as next fall, but they chose to delay that important work for political reasons,” added MLA Coralee Oakes, BC United Advanced Education Critic. “Now, British Columbians have been left to deal with the consequences of the NDP’s failure to act. Our healthcare system is nearing a point of total collapse. It’s not enough for David Eby to make shiny announcements — that’s nothing new for the NDP. What we need is real action and improved outcomes, something we have five years of evidence to show the NDP are incapable of delivering.”

The BC Liberals continue to join patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers in pressing the NDP to take substantive action to solve the healthcare crisis including putting forward substantive policy suggestions July and August of this year informed by healthcare professionals.