Workers know best

Once a month, North Okanagan Labour Council President David Doran is given the opportunity to set the business community straight with a column in Kelowna's Capital News newspaper. Here's his column for March, 2002:

Whose business is it anyway?

To suggest that issues relating to the operation of the business are not any of the workers' business is a folly of the worst extreme.

Sound business practice dictates that any business or company is only as good as its employees.

Many thousands of people in the Okanagan do not have a general practitioner because of the shortage of doctors in this area.

Who more able to bring these shortages to the attention of the employer than the BCMA?

Health care providers have many ideas about ways the system can be made more effective for the people they serve. Our members are in some of the best positions to develop those ideas and make suggestions.

Unlike the people who manage and administer the system or politicians who make the ultimate decisions about health care, many of our members are with the patient 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Unions and associations are in the proper place to make sure the employer addresses the retention and recruitment of key health care providers by ensuring competitive compensation, improving working conditions and expanding available education spaces in B.C. colleges and universities. To use nurse practitioners and support the use of registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to the widest scope of their practice is a suggestion from the B.C. Nurses Union.

The use of nurse practitioners in this method would encourage nurses to keep working in the province and provide badly needed assistance in rural areas of B.C. where medical personnel are frequently in short supply.

This would provide a sensible cost-effective solution to the shortage of medical practitioners.

Who is better positioned to raise concerns over the doctor shortage than the doctors themselves through their association, the BCMA? Doctors are also on the government payroll.

There is no attempt to implement long-term improvements where the priority is short-term cuts, especially when those short-term cuts are designed to pay for the hole created by ill-advised tax cuts.

Just because people work in an industry where the government is the employer does not exclude them from caring about social issues and the quality of the services provided.


Go back to News & Notes