A re-elected BC NDP government will launch BC’s second medical school to expand the health care workforce—training more doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and the public health professionals that have guided British Columbians through the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has driven home just how important the people who work in our health care system are to our safety and security,” said John Horgan, Leader of the BC NDP, on Tuesday. “A new medical school will ensure we are training and graduating the next generation of health heroes to work right here in British Columbia. It will give more opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams in the fastest-growing part of our province.”
BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Kingsway, Adrian Dix, announced that the new medical school will be established at Simon Fraser University, with a central facility at the SFU Surrey Campus and learning centres distributed across the Fraser Health Authority. The school will include a partnership with Fraser Health, and one with the First Nations Health Authority to develop training to meet the needs of Indigenous communities.
“The first graduating class could be 2023-24,” said Dix, “We’re training hundreds more nurses and health care assistants with new Urgent and Primary Care Centres and Primary Care Networks that will add 1,300 doctors and nurses over the next few years. We can’t go back to 2017, before the progress John Horgan has made.”
What the BC NDP says it has done to train more health professionals:
- Hiring more contact tracers and 7,000 new health care workers
- Created over 800 health care assistant training seats at institutions across BC
- Doubling specialty nursing training seats at BCIT
- Launching the first ever nursing degree program in the Northeast
- Doubling the number of sonography training seats in BC
- Expanding nurse practitioner programs at UBC, University of Victoria, UNBC
- Launching the first ever physiotherapy program in the North