Turning inner space into outer space

April 18, 2011

Dix as NDP leader may be 'healthy' for Kamloops

The new leader of the NDP, Adrian Dix, is practically a household name for regular readers of The Daily News. His name has appeared in dozens of articles in recent years, mainly with barbs aimed at the Interior Health Authority.

But perhaps the most bizarre episode involving Dix came in mid-January when Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger was forced to apologize for saying: “If there ever was a guy that shouldn’t put his head up to get it shot off, as the soldiers refer to it, it’s Adrian Dix.”

Krueger made the comment just after an American politician had been shot in Arizona. It was bad timing, to say the least.

But it is on the subject of health care where Dix has had the most to say. Whether you agree with him or not, he appears to have put some real effort into researching the topic. Here are excerpts from a few articles going back to 2009:

• New Democrat leadership hopeful Adrian Dix pledged Tuesday to fix what he called a top-heavy Interior Health Authority administration that directs too much attention and spending on Kelowna.

• New Democrat health critic Adrian Dix called the rate hike a cash grab. In a press release, he said the $54-million revenue grab will leave many patients struggling to pay for their basic needs.

NDP Health Critic Adrian Dix used the delay to make political hay Thursday, noting the latest news of a delay for the sterilization unit upgrades is just one in a long line that goes back three years.

• Adrian Dix said waits for MRI scans for non-urgent elective procedures take up to 10 months. “What we’re seeing everywhere in B.C. and in Kamloops is dramatic increases in MRi wait times.”

• By holding its hip and knee surgeries to 2008/09 budgeted levels, Interior Health is actually cutting the number of procedures by 14 per cent, says the NDP’s health critic. Adrian Dix said Thursday he came to that calculation based on information from IHA chief executive officer Murray Ramsden, who told him the surgeries would be held at those budgeted levels.

NDP health critic Adrian Dix predicts longer surgery waits, fewer services for patients and staff layoffs within Interior Health. The problems are the result of a growing deficit he says was hidden from the public.

Dix is apparently well versed in what for many people is a major issue — health care. Whether creating policy as premier or holding the government’s feet to the fire in opposition, Kamloops will benefit from his knowledge.