Sanctuary Health is relieved that the BC government has walked back a decision to cut off COVID-related care for new residents of the province who are not eligible for coverage under the Medical Services Plan (MSP), hours after Burnaby Beacon published a report on the topic. However, we are shocked that such a cut was even considered.
Below is a reaction from Sanctuary Health member Omar Chu to the announcement quoted in the Burnaby Beacon:
"Omar Chu, who’s a member of community health coalition Sanctuary Health and had called for the decision to be reversed, told the Beacon that the situation had further eroded his trust in the provincial government.
“I think this was kind of the last in a series of places where we’ve tried to interact in good faith. Personally, I’m still dealing with the shock of learning about what they were trying to do yesterday, and we’re going to need to see some real solid actions to rebuild trust,” he said.
Chu and Sanctuary Health weren’t aware that the policy was set to expire in a matter of days until alerted to the fact by the Beacon on Tuesday morning. The coalition works directly with new residents who would be impacted by the change.
Chu immediately reached out to his contacts within the Ministry for information and an explanation—but as of Wednesday afternoon, still hadn’t received any sort of response.
“I left voicemails, sent emails, and haven’t heard any response … what I’ve seen over the past four years is that the only thing that gets movement on anything is media attention and public shaming,” he said.
“That seems to be the only thing that gets them to reverse policies—and it seems like this government’s goals are not aligned with ours.”