Dr. Paxton Bach: Our overburdened health-care system cannot meet the need for a safer drug supply

published on August 17, 2022 by Paxton Bach in The Province

When Canada’s premiers met last month, one overwhelming issue emerged — our health system is overburdened and overtaxed.

There have been countless recent illustrations to this effect, including a poignant advertisement in a B.C. paper pleading for a referral to a family physician, putting a human face on the extent of this predicament. Until investments are made from all levels of government, our health system will continue to operate in triage mode, which is yet another reason why counting on physicians alone to address the ongoing crisis of toxic drug poisonings is destined to fall short.

It is no secret that B.C. is in the depths of an unrelenting overdose crisis, claiming the lives of more than six British Columbians every single day. Addressing this crisis will require action on multiple fronts, including a meaningful investment in correcting deep-seated structural inequities, a scaling up of access to addiction treatment and recovery services, and an expansion of access to harm-reduction approaches designed to help separate people from an increasingly poisonous supply of illicit drugs…

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