Re: “Health care on life support,” Frank Bucholtz, July 24.
Truly funding is a problem in health care. But mismanagement, not inadequate funding, is the biggest problem.
Funding must increase for population increases, just as taxation returns increase with population. But the funding is disproportionately directed to administration or other areas that do not improve patient care.
Also, funding increases tend to be focused on hospitals. Dermatologists work almost entirely outside of hospitals and manage to keep even the most ill skin patients out of hospital. But shortages of dermatologists lead to long waits and patients may then present to emergency departments. This is incredibly costly.
There is a shortage of three dermatologists in Surrey, one each for Langley, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, and White Rock for a total of eight, while only seven dermatologists practise in these communities – a shortage of over 50 per cent.
UBC continues to train too many of some specialties that are in oversupply. These graduates find themselves unemployed after several years of training.
Despite a shortage of dermatologists, UBC fails to increase the number of dermatology residents further.
This year, UBC actually is training a dermatologist for Saudi Arabia while B.C. medical students are being turned away from dermatology.
The budget may be balanced but people are suffering and will suffer even more.
UBC and the Ministry of Health need to stop dithering and address this issue now.
Dr. Evert Tuyp, President
B.C. Section of Dermatology