It has been an unprecedented two and a half years for BC’s health care system. From the spread of COVID-19, to record-breaking heat waves, to growing mental health and substance abuse issues—our front line health care staff have been tested like never before.

“I feel worn out and exhausted after these past couple of years. I walk into the hospital and morale is low. There’s burnout… it’s really hard,” says Dave Sahadeo, Respiratory Therapist (RT).

Dave’s profession was brought into the limelight at the beginning of the pandemic, as RTs were—and are—critical in the treatment of COVID-19 infected patients, particularly those who ended up in hospital and the ICU. They are often the last line of defense for those struggling to breathe through the disease, and Dave witnessed first-hand the cost of COVID-19.

And Dave isn’t alone. Communities across BC are struggling with a short supply of doctors and health care workers, temporary closures of emergency departments have taken place in the Interior and Vancouver Island, and experts have stated burnout and burden on mental health are playing a role in this.

Yet through it all, these health care teams have shown incredible resilience. Dave still continues to fight for a better future, both for his colleagues and his patients.

“We’re a work family and we got even closer during the pandemic,” says Dave. “We all want the same thing—to give good patient care—and that’s what’s driving me still.”

The past two and a half years have also brought new levels of global collaboration and advances in health care.

“This pandemic really brought together the medical world,” says Dr. Sekhon, an intensivist at VGH. “There was cross-collaboration between health care teams across the globe who were united in defeating a common illness. I see a lot of benefits two years later, even with the challenges.”

Despite some bright spots of collaboration and inspiration, our local health care workers still need our help. They have been doing their best in nearly impossible situations for years, and they deserve the best support we can provide today.