Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen called for the federal government to become more involved in rural health care.
Doctor shortages in rural areas have Cullen pushing the Conservatives to look at more creative options to address the issue.
Cullen suggested taking a page from the book of other places such as Australia and Alaska by helping newly graduated doctors pay down their student debt faster by working in more remote and rural areas.
He also criticized the Harper government’s lack of engagement with communities such as Fort St. James and Burns Lake where new hospitals are needed and funding is an issue.
These areas have large first nations populations living on reserves who are under the care of the federal government, but the funding is not following these patients into the hospital settings, according to Cullen.
He applauded the efforts of the aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities in Masset on Haida Gwaii to be creative in getting their new hospital built together, but he felt the federal government should have played a larger role.
“It shouldn’t be up to communities to totally reinvent the wheel every time,” said Cullen.
The NDP are currently asking the federal Conservatives for more money for rural doctors as one part of their demands to vote through the Conservative budget.