BC Green leader goes to bat for Victoria medical clinic set to close

The leader of the BC Green Party is advocating for a downtown Victoria medical clinic set to close its doors this summer.

Andrew Weaver says he took a proposal from the owner of the Yates-Quadra Integrated Health Clinic, directly to Health Minister Adrian Dix in January -- and was told it was the exact direction government wants to head.

" And he said that it certainly sounds like this is along the lines of exactly the direction they were trying to go. I mentioned that to Mr. Houston. I then came back again, I followed up with both the health minister and his ministerial assistant and they said that they are actually looking at it as we speak, and they were very interested in it." 

But after hearing nothing back, Dr. James Houston went public last week with news the clinic will likely have to close this summer.

Weaver says while the wheels of government turn slowly, but the proposal is still in play:

" Absolutely. There's no question that this is still in the queue. The urgency, I don't know that government understands or appreciates the urgency, and that is -- again -- I will once more this week talk with the Health Minister when I see him, and see if I can convey the sense of urgency in this particular case."

Dr. Houston says the clinic is set to lose 3 doctors, and has not been able to attract replacement physicians, because family doctors make more working for rural communities and hospitals. And without a full compliment of family physicians, the clinic isn't viable.

His proposal involves government involvement to keep the doors open, and could set a direction to make it easier to attract more family doctors to the capital city.


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