Please find below an open letter sent to Health Minister Adrian Dix on September 21, 2022 calling attention to the crisis in Specialty care. Scroll down to add your support.

September 21, 2022

The Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health
Ministry of Health
1515 Blanshard Street, Victoria BC V8W 3C8

Dear Minister Dix, 

We are writing to you to express our deep concern for the estimated 1 million patients waiting to see a Specialist in British Columbia. We are requesting an urgent meeting with you to discuss this critical issue and potential solutions.

Our entire health care system is crumbling, but not enough is being done to improve Specialist patient outcomes or shorten our overcrowded wait lists. If we do not work together to find solutions, Specialty care in this province is going to erode even further. We have been hampered by years of increasing challenges compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. Patients are getting sicker and dying on our waitlists. Primary care providers, if available, do their best to support patients until they are seen. Urgent Primary Care Centres and Emergency departments are overwhelmed and can’t provide immediate access to Specialists. Increased admissions strain the already overburdened hospital system, and cost even more in both dollars and patient suffering.

Long surgical wait times are the most widely known, but the crisis in wait times extends to the entire breadth of Specialist care.  Here are a few of the innumerable examples: 

  • A patient with sudden hearing loss who if seen sooner wouldn’t have become permanently hearing impaired.
  • Over 16,000 people waiting for an echocardiogram in Vancouver Coastal Health alone.
  • Patients in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island with new cancer diagnoses waiting 2-3 months for their first visit with an Oncologist.  
  • A lone respirologist in Northern Health, unable to recruit partners, who has had to close her practice to less urgent referrals for the last 2 years just to catch up and continue seeing urgent cases, meanwhile patients have to travel hundreds of kilometers to see the next closest Specialist. 
  • One of the few remaining Dermatologists in Fraser Health getting crushed with 60 to 100 new referrals a day forced to limit accepting new referrals to only the most urgent cases.  
  • Patients waiting on tenter-hooks for weeks for their lab results and surgical pathology because of lengthy backlogs in our labs.  
  • A 3 year old with possible autism waiting more than 18 months for a formal assessment, while her anxiety-ridden parents are left in limbo with no support. 
  • Interior BC patients forced to travel hundreds of kilometers just to obtain simple x-rays because local wait-times are untenable.

These are just some of the hundreds, if not thousands, of stories from across the province. Specialists care for complex patients who are often too ill to advocate for themselves. We need to stabilize and strengthen our Specialty Care infrastructure to support this vulnerable population.

We see the decline in Specialist care first hand every day and we are exhausted and demoralized; it is soul-destroying to be unable to provide the Specialty care that BC patients need and deserve. We request a meeting with you emergently, and that is not a word we use lightly. As you said on September 13, “We need to transform the health-care system”; to succeed, this must include repair of Specialty care. We can help you do that.

Respectfully,

Dr. Cassandra Lane Dielwart
Orthopedic Surgeon, Kelowna
President, BC Orthopedics Association

Dr. Tommy Gerschman
Pediatric Rheumatologist, North Vancouver
Past President, Consultant Specialists of BC

Dr. Charlotte Yong-Hing 
Radiologist, Vancouver 
President, BC Radiological Society

Dr. Maggie Aron
Otolaryngology Surgeon, Vancouver

Dr. Chris Hoag
Urologic Surgeon, North Vancouver
President, BC Urological Society
President, Consultant Specialists of BC

Dr. Brad Munt
Cardiologist, Vancouver
Past President, Society of Cardiology of British Columbia

Dr. Sharla-Rae Olsen 
Respirologist, Prince George
Department Head, Internal Medicine UHNBC 

Dr. Jon Slater
Pediatrician, Comox
Past President, Consultant Specialists of BC

Dr. Kamyar Kazemi 
Vascular Surgeon, New Westminster 
Section Head, Vascular Surgery 

Dr. Michael Eng
Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Vancouver
Division of Urology Head, PHC

Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss 
Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Surrey 
Co-Dept Head, Obstetrics & Gynecology, SMH 

Dr. Daniel Wong
Cardiac Surgeon, New Westminster
Section Head, Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Glen Ward
Pediatrician, Langley 

Dr. Bahar Torabi
Pediatric Immunologist, Vancouver

Dr. Chih-ho Hong 
Dermatologist, Surrey 

Dr. Brian Mayson
Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Vancouver

Dr. Karen Seland 
Radiologist, Prince George 

Dr. Dana Wong
Otolaryngologist, Nanaimo

Dr. Fareen Din 
Nephrologist, Prince George 

Dr. Priya Manjoo
Endocrinologist, Victoria

Dr. David Kendler 
Endocrinologist, Vancouver 

Dr. David Harriman
Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Vancouver

Dr. Daniel Mendelsohn 
Neurosurgeon, North Vancouver 

Dr. Brenda Farnquist
Radiologist, Kelowna

Dr. Chris Nguan
Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Vancouver 

Dr. Lik Hang Lee
Lab Medicine Physician, Vancouver

 

 

    NameAffiliation
    Nathan Hoag
    Urologist, Victoria
    Dr. Tyler Smith
    Hematopathologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Nazira Chatur
    Gastroenterologist - Section Head for GI BC
    Dr. Shahin Nabi
    Otolaryngology - head and neck surgery
    Dr. Siobhan Perkins
    Clinical Allergist and Immunologist,
    Dr. Robert Carruthers
    Neurologist
    Emily Deane
    Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
    Charles van Rooy
    Otolaryngologist
    Ronak Rahmanian
    Otolaryngologist, BC Children’s Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital
    Dr. Mehtab Sekhon
    Neonatologist
    Dr Steven Krywulak
    Orthopedic surgeon
    Dr. Ross Demcoe
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Kelowna
    Dr Timothy B. Latham
    Cardiac Surgeon, New Westminster
    Dr. Stanley Mah
    Otolaryngologist, Fraser Health
    Douglas Kibblewhite
    Otolaryngologist
    Dr. Michelle Sherwood
    Pediatrician, Surrey and Vancouver
    Dr. Stephany Quinn
    Pediatrician, Surrey
    Dr. Pamela O’Connor
    Dermatologist, Kelowna
    Dr. John Yu
    Dermatologist
    Dr. Neil Chadha
    Pediatric Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
    Dr. Sabrina Nurmohamed
    Dermatologist, New Westminster
    Dr. L. Alexandra Kuritzky
    Dermatologist, North Vancouver
    Dr Megan Melnyk
    Urologist, Chilliwack BC
    Dr. Colleen Nugent
    Pediatric Endocrinologist, Port Moody
    Dr. Mitchell Uh
    Rheumatologist, New Westminster
    Jennifer Mickelson
    Urologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Henry Tran
    Urologist, Providence Health Care, Vancouver
    Heather Day
    Rheumatologist, West Vancouver
    Dr. Derek Ottem
    Urologist, Kamloops
    Dr Herman Kwan
    Urologist
    Dr. Aaron Clark
    Urologist, Comox Valley
    Michelle Teo
    Rheumatology
    Dr. Michael Metcalfe
    Urologist, Victoria
    Dr. Joshua Wiesenthal
    Urology Division Head, Kelowna General Hospital
    Dr Anali Dadgostar
    Otolaryngologist, Richmond
    John Kinahan
    Urologist, Victoria
    Dr. Zeid Mohamedali
    Urologist, Port Alberni
    Dr. Vinod Kesavan
    Neonatologist/ Pediatrician: New West / Coquitlam
    Dr. Winston Teo
    Urologist, Penticton
    Dr. May Kazem
    Rheumatology
    Dr J Andrew Bartlett
    Otolaryngologist
    Gilbert Lam
    Pediatrician
    Adrian Peter van Stolk
    Rheumatologist
    Jeffrey Zorn
    Urologist, Comox
    Dr Chasta Bacsu
    Urologist, Victoria
    Vu Truong
    Urologist, Fraser Health
    Dr. Siu Him Chan
    Cardiologist, Richmond & Burnaby
    Dr. Daniel Yanko
    Urologist, New Westminster
    Raymond Mak
    Allergist
    Dr. Kevin Owusu-Ansah
    Pediatrician, Surrey and Vancouver
    Wendy Wong
    Rheumatology, Surrey
    Peter Black
    Urologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Teffran Chan
    Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
    Rahul Hampole
    Urologist
    Dr. Richard Hooper
    Cardiologist & Founding President BC Specialists Society
    Dr. Iain McAuley
    Urologist, Victoria, BC
    Dr. Joel Howlett
    Otolaryngologist
    Dr. David Cook
    Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
    Doris Conci de Souza Gomes
    Patient
    Dr K. Kiara Hennessey
    Urologist, Richmond
    Dr. Peter Stepaniuk
    Clinical Immunologist and Allergist, Surrey
    Dr. Stephen Sohmer
    Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Dr. John Yun
    Community Medical Oncology
    Dr. Richard Nadeau
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. Kristin Noiles
    Dermatologist, Nanaimo
    Dr. Lauren Roberts
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Burnaby
    Dr. Matthew Lewington
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Delta
    Daniel Rapoport
    Urologist, Vancouver
    Sasha smiljanic
    Oncologist
    Dr Ewa Gizicki
    Pediatrician, Neonatologist
    Dr. Mark Gatha
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Richmond
    Dr. Joyce Yu
    Pediatric Allergist Immunologist
    Dr. Jordan Leith
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver
    Ashlee Dobbe
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Kelowna
    Dr. Persia Pourshahnazari
    Clinical Immunologist and Allergist, Vancouver
    Joslyn Conley
    Nephrologist, Kamloops
    Dr. Seth Bitting
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Trail
    Steven Sylvester
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Kelowna
    Dr. Kevin Zhao
    Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Kamloops
    Dr Michelle Bosch
    Otolaryngologist, Nanaimo
    Dr. Paul Yenson
    Hematologist, Vancouver
    Dr Marek Rozwadowski
    Anaesthesiologist, Port Alberni
    Dr. Steven Schieman
    Urologist, Cranbrook
    Dr Sean Brown
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Surrey
    Dr. Melanie Brown
    Nephrologist, New Westminster
    Dr Marc Lambiotte
    Internal medicine / Gastroenterologist
    Dr John Masterson
    Pediatric Urologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Ian Warbrick
    Internist
    Dr. Stephen Noseworthy
    Pediatrician and Emergentologist, Langley and Vancouver
    Dr Ali Zentner
    Internal Medicine, Obesity, Vancouver
    Dr. Courtney Young
    Cardiologist, Surrey
    Dr. Joanne Yeung
    Pediatric Allergist and Clinical Immunologist, Vancouver
    Ileana Vasilescu
    Patient
    Gordon Robinson
    Neurologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Najam Mian
    Physiatrist and Pain Medicine Specialist
    Dr. Michael Copley
    Dermatologist, Nanaimo
    Dr. Michael Schachter
    Nephrologist, Victoria
    Dr. Nita Jain
    Pediatrician, Vancouver
    Dr. Polya Ninova
    Pediatrician
    Dr. Mark Chiu
    Orthopedic surgeon, Langley
    Michelle Withers
    Dermatologist, Burnaby
    Dr. Ryan Lo
    Clinical Immunology and Allergy
    Lynnene Lewis
    Concerned citizen
    AMELIE
    Patient
    Victor Chow
    Urologist
    Dr Rolfe Luongo
    Rheumatologist Burnaby
    Dr. Scott B. Cameron
    Pediatric Allergist and Clinical Immunologist, Victoria
    Phil Hogan, CPA, CA, CPA (CO)
    CPA with lots of clients in similar situations
    Dara O’Donovan
    Concerned Citizen
    Borching Wang
    Patient
    Dr. Linda Lee
    Urologist, Victoria
    Dr. Jim Rose
    Oncologist
    Dr. Claire Thurgur
    Radiologist, Vernon
    Shannon Hahn
    Registered Nurse
    Jillian Boa
    Physiotherapist
    Dr. Stacey Butters
    General Practitioner
    Dr. Nasim Abedi
    Plastic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. Adam Weathermon
    Radiologist, Vernon, BC
    Ryan Paterson
    Urologist, Vancouver
    Dr. James McInnes
    Orthopaedic surgeon, Victoria
    Bruce Shearer
    Patient
    Terri Betts
    Hospital pharmacist, North Vancouver
    Dr. Eiman Zargaran
    General Surgery, North Vancouver
    Victor Jando
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. Evert Tuyp
    Dermatologist, Coquitlam
    Dr. Hasandeep Kular
    Allergist and Clinical Immunologist, Surrey
    Glenna Padley
    Patient
    Julie Chou
    Respirologist, Vancouver
    Dr. Derek Godinho
    Ophthalmic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Vera Devins
    Very concerned BC citizen
    Dr. Christina Poon
    Urologist, North Vancouver
    Greg Houle
    Urologist, Vernon
    Adrian Kurz
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Kelowna
    Richard Lewis
    General Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. B.Blumenauer
    Rheumatologist
    Dr. Carolyn Isbister
    Ophthalmic Surgeon
    Dr. Tomas Kuca
    Anesthesiologist/Intensivist
    Dr. Aven Poynter
    Pediatrician, Past President BC Pediatric Society
    Dr. Kirsten Miller
    Pediatrician, Prince George
    Dr. Janice Manthorne
    Paediatrician, Victoria
    Catherine Sandison
    RMT Student
    Sarah Parkes
    Lab Assistant
    Dr. Jennifer Locke
    Urologist, Kelowna
    Dr. Kun Huang
    Rheumatologist, Surrey
    Dr. Howard Lim
    Medical Oncologist
    Dr. Mandeep Bal
    Family Physician, Surrey
    Dr. Jennifer Klok
    Plastic Surgeon
    Dr. Julian Pleydell-Pearce
    Retired Pediatrician
    Dr. Kostas Panagiotopoulos
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Amy Disbrow
    Patient
    Dr. M. Suzanne Lewis
    Medical Geneticist
    Dr. Amrit Kahlon
    Hematologist
    Dr. Greg Marcotte
    Rheumatologist, Prince George
    Roderick Chew
    Plastic reconstructive surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. Tamara Shenkier
    Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer
    Deb Eckert
    Interior Health Lab Manager
    Dr Shamim Wadiwalla
    Clinical Immunology and Allergy
    Sharlene Gill
    Medical Oncologist
    Dr Shannon Samler
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, North Vancouver
    Dr. Julian B Sernik
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Vernon
    Dr. Andrea Simmonds
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver
    Dr. Dinesh Samarasekera
    Urologist, Surrey
    Dr.Niels Schwarz
    Internal Medicine
    Dr. Barbara Lelj Garolla
    Pediatrician, Victoria
    Dr. Dean Malish
    Orthopedic Surgeon
    Dr. Jeffrey Potter
    Orthopaedic Trauma, Vancouver
    Dr. Deneen Baron
    Sports Medicine/MSK Physician
    Dr. Ian R Wilson
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Comox Valley, Vancouver Island
    Renee Ostafichuk
    Orthopedic Office Assistant
    Dr Janessa Laskin
    Medical Oncologist, Vancouver
    Monique Walkinshaw
    MRI Technologist
    Ben White
    Physiotherapist
    Dr. Kerry Savage
    Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer, Vancouver
    Shelley Luciw
    Orthopedic Office Administrator, Kelowna
    Dr. Evan Ailon
    General Internist, Nanaimo
    Dr. Krystal Cullen
    Pediatrician, Victoria BC
    Dr. Grace Yu
    Pediatrician
    Ceilidh Soroka
    Assistant - Orthopedic Surgery
    Dr. Robert Keyes
    Neurologist, Vancouver
    Rheanna Menagh
    Medical Office Assistant
    Dr Rebecca Munk
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Dr Jessie Ursenbach
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Dr. Arthur Wong
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Dr. Peter Skepasts
    Urologist
    Dr. Mathew Mosher
    Plastic surgeon - Fraser Health
    Dr. Simon Baxter
    Medical Oncology, Kelowna
    robert r moss
    Cardiologist
    Fadi Tarazi
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Burnaby
    Justyn Lutfy
    Plastic surgeon
    Rizwan Mian
    Plastic Surgeon, Surrey
    Dr. Scott McGuffin
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Burnaby
    Dr. Marek Majka
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Anick Godin
    Rheumatologist, Kelowna
    Brad Merriman
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Eve Aymong
    Cardiologist, Vancouver
    Douglas Courtemanche
    Plastic Surgeon, BC Children’s Hospital
    Michael Hunter
    Patient
    Frank Wong
    Gastroenterologist, Burnaby
    Dr. Jane Hailey
    Consultant Pediatrician, Vancouver
    Corey Metcalf
    Medical Oncology, Vancouver
    Osama Ebesh General Pediatrician, Chilliwack
    Fraser Health
    Carolina Becerra
    Patient
    Dr Claire Ang
    Pediatrician, Chilliwack
    Dr Parthasaradhi Rachakonda
    Pediatrics
    Dr Akash Sinha
    Pediatrician
    Jyoti Balain
    Pediatrician
    Dr. Bikramjit Grewal
    Pediatrician
    Dr. Grace Song
    Obstetrician Gynecologist, Surrey
    Kathryn Ng
    Pediatrician, Surrey
    Dr. Christopher Thompson
    Cardiologist, Vancy
    Dr. George Maryniak
    Anesthesiologist
    Owen Reid
    Plastic Surgeon, Richmond
    Peter Kokan
    Orthopaedic surgeon, Burnaby
    Dr. Kaethe Clarke
    Medical Oncologist , Kelowna
    Dr. Katherine Wambera
    Pediatric Neurologist, Victoria
    Dr. Charles Constantine
    Nephrologist, Surrey, Fraser Health
    Howard Young
    Patient
    Dr Janine M. Davies
    Medical Oncologist
    Patti Young
    Patient
    Dr. Matt Harding
    Pediatric Nephrologist, Victoria
    Dr. Annie Chou
    Cardiologist, St. Paul's Hospital
    Derek Plausinis
    Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Dr. Tyson Boettcher
    Orthopaedic surgeon, Prince George
    Dr. Amin Kanani
    Clinical Immunology and Allergy
    Matthew Hudson
    General Surgery
    Dr. Reza Hamidizadeh
    Urologist, Richmond
    Dr. Kang-Min Zhu
    Radiologist, East Kootenay Region, IH
    Michael Katz
    Radiologist
    gary bloomberg
    Cardiologist
    Monica Li
    Dermatologist
    Dr. Keith Neufeld
    Radiologist, Cranbrook
    Vu Le
    Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Dr Rusty Ritenour
    Eye Surgeon, Island Health Section Head Ophthalmology
    Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill
    GP, patient and caregiver
    Dr. Sharnjeet Kahlon
    Internal medicine
    Sanjay Rao
    Medical oncologist
    Richard Kendall
    Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Dr. James Loh
    Allergist
    Dr. Laurenna Peers
    Infectious Diseases, Fraser Health
    Dr. Swetha Sriram
    General Internal Medicine
    Adam van der Merwe
    Anesthesiologist, Kelowna
    Dr. Kenneth F. Ryan
    Anesthesiologist, Fraser Health
    Dr. Erin Burrell
    Psychiatrist, Vancouver
    Dr. Jessica Guy
    Dermatologist, Courtenay
    Dr. Steve Meredith
    Plastic Surgeon, Kamloops
    Dr David Nelson
    Orthopaedic surgeon
    Dr. Katherine Buckley
    Pediatrics
    Camilla Ross
    Hematologist, Caregiver, Patient
    John Ramsden
    Anesthesiologist
    Dr. Joanna Cheek
    Psychiatrist, Victoria
    Dr. Vipal Vedd
    RADIOLOGIST
    Shannon Santana
    Registered Nurse, member of public
    Pat Battles
    Patient
    Dr. Karen Rivera
    Psychiatrist
    Maura Brown
    Radiologist
    Dr. Gerald Da Roza
    Internal Medicine & Nephrology, FHA
    Emily Lai
    General Internal Medicine & Thrombosis, RCH & VGH
    Donald Roth
    Cancer Patient
    Dr. Kathryn Brown
    Division Head , Cardiologist - Kelowna
    Dr. Amélie Pelland
    Anesthesiologist
    Mihaela Van Idour
    Anesthesiology (Resident)
    Max sun
    Rheumatology
    Dr. Vivian Yau
    Radiation Oncologist
    Sally Roth
    Patient
    Dr. Kingsley Lee
    Allergist, Victoria
    Dr. Roopjeet Kahlon
    General Internal Medicine
    Kim browning
    Forensic psychiatry
    Dr. Fatimah Alfaraj
    Radiation oncology
    Kim Herdman
    Patient
    John Gabor
    Patient
    Dr. Patrick Laing
    Gastroenterologist
    Wendy Dahms-Robinson
    Ultrasound Techologist
    Gerald Robinson
    Patient
    Dr. Jeremy Leung
    Dentist
    Jonathan Lawrence
    Patient
    Dr. W.K. Larry Cheung
    The only board-certified Dermatologist in Richmond, BC
    Paula Gordon
    Radiologist
    Dr. Derek To
    Dermatologist
    Tommy Tho
    Patient
    Dr. Angeliki Barlas
    Allergist and Clinical Immunologist
    Jason Cheh
    Patient
    Deborah Wong
    Patient
    Dylan Naidoo
    Patient
    Simon Woo
    Geriatric Psychiatry
    Fiona Tjia
    Physiotherapist
    Phyllis Griffiths
    Patient
    Jessica Drzewiecki
    Concerned BC citizen
    Sonja Soubolsky
    Concerned BC Citizen
    Alyssa Woodruff
    Patient
    Dr. Tim Kostamo
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Burnaby Hospital
    Dr. Darren Lazare
    Urogynecology - Fraser Health
    Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff
    Urogynaecologist, Vancouver
    Mélissa Nadeau
    Orthopedic Surgeon
    Robert Froh
    Orthopaedic Surgeon, Surrey
    Dr. Kenny WJ Lee
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Surrey
    Naseem Gulamhusein
    Patient
    Dr. David Saliken
    Orthopedic Surgeon
    Teresa Craig-Morgan
    Patient
    Dr. Morgan Lam
    Nephrology, VIHA & Palliative Medicine, FHA
    Dr. Erika Henkelman
    Pediatric Plastic Surgeon, Vancouver
    Mae Johnson
    Patient
    Tracey Johnson
    Health care assistant
    Alan Banister
    Patient
    Daniel Fraser
    Patient
    Dr. Albert Chan
    Interventional Cardiologist