Premier comments not fazing doctors group
By Shannon Quesnel
The Penticton Regional Hospital staff are pursuing a new patient care tower.
(SHANNON QUESNEL / iNFOnews.ca)
May 29, 2013 - 5:21 PM
Remarks by Premier Christy Clark about reducing spending now that the B.C. Liberals have won another mandate stunned no one in Dr. David Paisley's office.
The president of the Penticton Medical Society said he was not surprised when told Clark called on her Liberal MLAs to avoid making spending commitments.
Clark was quoted in a Vancouver publication telling the Liberal caucus to tighten the purse-strings for the "next little while."
Leading up to the election, Clark said she supported building a business case for Penticton Regional Hospital's multi-million dollar patient care tower to solve over-crowding and upgrade problems. She told Infotel News that commitment to plan is a commitment to build, putting the province on the hook for $160 million. She has not said anything specific about the Penticton hospital tower since then, but Paisley doesn't hold much faith the funding will come through.
"We were expecting them to say that," Paisley said. The doctor also heads up an effort to getting the much-needed expansion.
The society held two events prior to the election to rally the community to the cause. Clark visited Penticton several times during her campaign. She had said the hospital expansion is a big priority.
Mayor Dan Ashton said it's too early for him to comment. He is on a leave-of-absence since being elected MLA in Clark's caucus in the May 14 election. He has yet to be officially sworn in as a member of the legislature. He also would not comment on what might have been said in a private meeting between Clark and her Liberal caucus.
He did say Clark mentioned there will be many discussions before decisions are made and he would have more to say in the future.
Paisley and supporters are not waiting. The doctor said the society will wait to see who the new ministers will be before starting a lobbying campaign. The group has $20,000 to pay for a professional lobbyist.
"The main thing we are trying to do is make the promises work," he said.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at email@example.com, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013