Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)

Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)

Dix visits Maple Ridge’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre

There still aren’t enough doctors to staff facility – Meadus

Health Minister Adrian Dix was in Maple Ridge on Saturday, touring the Urgent and Primary Care Centre which opened in Haney Place Mall last month.

His political opponents are saying there aren’t enough doctors to provide an improved level of care, despite opening a new facility.

The NDP government announced 17 such centres around the province, and party Leader John Horgan was in Maple Ridge for the announcement in September.

READ ALSO: Premier in Maple Ridge for health care announcement

The centre is open for walk-in clients from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Fraser Health says patients needing treatment for minor cuts, sprains, injuries, prescription refills, fevers, sore throats, ear aches and other non-emergency health problems can access the centre. It is for clients needing care within 12-48 hours. Dix said it is a better option than the ER in many circumstances, and will cut down on wait times at ERs.

Dix said this model of health care, which he called team-based care, is being used in other jurisdictions around the world.

“I give enormous credit to the Maple Ridge Division of Family practice for engaging with us,” said Dix.

The centre was formerly located in a building at the same site as Ridge Meadows Hospital, but that facility will now be used as a COVID-19 testing centre.

Dix said the BC NDP has been prioritizing health care. Last year, for example, it did 252,000 MRIs, where there were only 174,000 in the last year under the BC Liberal government

BC Liberal candidate for Maple Ridge-Mission Chelsa Meadus said there are still not enough doctors in the community.

“That’s what I’m hearing from primary care – we just don’t have the doctors to deliver the service,” she said. “If you don’t have the doctors, how are you able to deliver the service?

“The funding is just not there to deliver the services promised. It’s one thing to put up a bricks and mortar building, but it’s another thing to have the funding there. We’ve seen that in our community a number of times, where the building goes up, but the services aren’t there.”

She said the BC Liberal party would cut red tape to allow foreign doctors to practise in the province.

Dix also talked about his government’s managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDP detractors say Dr. Bonnie Henry is responsible for the province doing better than some jurisdictions at limiting public exposure to the pandemic, not the NDP.

Dix countered that other governments have not listened to their public health experts.

“We made sure health care advice came from the health care experts – not from the premier, not from me, but from Dr. Bonnie Henry,” he said. “That hasn’t been the case in all jurisdictions.”

He gave credit to deputy health minister Stephen Brown, the health authority chairs and others for the COVID-19 response.

“It’s a very large team,” he said.

Election day is Oct. 24, but advance polls are open and hundreds of thousands of people have already vote by mail. With election officials observing COVID-19 safety protocols, Dix said people can vote without fear of an additional exposure to the virus.

“Elections BC has done a great job,” he said.

Meadus said running an election at this time contradicts health advice.

“Dr. Bonnie Henry has said we should all be staying home, and limiting our interactions with others,” she said.

“Thousands of campaign managers and volunteers are now out interacting in ways that they were not doing a month ago. I have serious concerns about that.

“We have definitely elevated the risks, and that’s simply because of an election being called in a pandemic – unnecessarily in my opinion.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC NDPElection 2020maple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows author Amanda Muratoff. (Kyle Cumming/Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows author releases seventh book in fantasy series

Rise of the Renegades is part of a series Amanda Muratoff has been writing with Kayla Mansur

Howard Done and his wife were walking through the Yennadon neighbourhood of Maple Ridge, when they encountered this young buck relaxing in the grass on a vacant lot at the corner of 232nd Street and 128th Avenue. "He didn't seem to be bothered by any of the traffic, pedestrians or dogs," Done noted. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Young buck caught lounging in Yennadon

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Aman Kaywan is all smiles after donating $5,000 to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. (Special to The News).
Charitable Maple Ridge man says,”You don’t have to be rich to make a difference.”

Aman Kaywan saved up to donate $5,000 to Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Tabor Home in Abbotsford records 8 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at long-term-care facility have tested positive

Product Care offers more than <a href="" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Most Read