VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC anesthesiologists could have given themselves bonuses, but they decided to give it back instead.  They’re putting $3 million of their own funding into efforts to hire extra staff to help high risk pregnant mothers and their babies.

President of the BC Anesthesiologists’ Society Dr. Jeff Rains says they’re allowed to use the money wherever they see fit.  “The initiative that we thought was most important to address at this point in time was safe obstetric care of the patients within our province.”

BC is the only province that doesn’t meet Health Canada‘s national standards for anesthesiologists staffing dedicated to high-risk pregnancies.  “It’s something that is long past due for a solution.  We’re hoping that the government and the ministerial officials will see the wisdom in working with us to help find a solution.  It needs to be addressed.”

Rains adds it’s all about cutting through the red tape and just doing what needs to be done to help high-risk expectant mothers.  He claims the Ministry of Health previously rejected a proposal from the society to boost staffing levels.

“The view from the Ministry official was that nothing in the health care system should be improved without being negotiated at the BC Medical Association table.  In my opinion, it’s distressing to see bureaucratic roadblocks used to prevent the use of funding from the last agreement to improve patient care.  Tragedies have occurred and will continue to occur until a viable and sustainable solution is found.”