Mr. Speaker, the residents of Princeton are extremely concerned about the health care crisis currently facing their community, with the loss of three positions by the end of April and, in addition, the closure of their hospital's emergency room.
It is estimated that five million Canadians currently do not have a family physician, and 4,000 more doctors are expected to retire within the next two years.
The residents of Princeton and other rural communities deserve to have access to doctors and to emergency services. The mayor and council, together with the Interior Health Authority, are working hard to address the situation.
Something is wrong here. Massive cuts to health care transfers, together with a lack of leadership at the federal level, have shifted the burden onto provinces and communities. In B.C., the provincial government chose to cut and slash the health care system at the same time that it implemented massive tax cuts.
It is time for the federal government to assume its responsibility to ensure that towns like Princeton have enough health care professionals and adequate hospital facilities. Canadians deserve no less.