Ken Platz has been protesting the lack of healthcare in Ashcroft since June. He was joined by several supporters last week.

Ken Platz has been protesting the lack of healthcare in Ashcroft since June. He was joined by several supporters last week.

Healthcare protest gathers supporters

Supporters of a man protesting healthcare in Ashcroft came out last week to show their concern.

Ken Platz has been quietly protesting the lack of healthcare in Ashcroft by picketing in front of MLA Jackie Tegart’s office on Railway Ave. Last week he was joined by several supporters when it was know that CBC Kamloops would be coming to interview him.

“I’m here to support Ken,” said Maria Russell Martin. “I’m glad someone had the gumption to draw attention to it – again.”

She says she has been driving to Lytton for a doctor.

“I go to Merritt,” said Dolly Lowe.

She says she tried Lytton, Lillooet, 100 Mile, Logan Lake and Kamloops. She was finally able to get a doctor in Merrit because they were setting up a new practice.

“I commend Ken for standing here,” she said.

“When I came here there were five doctors and the community bought things for the hsopital,” said Danita Howard. “With no doctors there’s no opportunity to get prescriptions filled. I can drive to Kamloops but we have seniors who can’t.”

“It isn’t just seniors who need doctors,” said Greta Rieck. “There are a lot of children who need doctors, too.”

She said she doesn’t want to have to move out of Ashcroft to find healthcare.

“We have to keep fighting,” she said, “because I love this place.”

“At first I wasn’t going to come, but then I wanted to come and support Ken and what he’s doing.”

The province is responsible for providing healthcare,” said Platz, and the MLA is our provincial representative.

Other residents come and picket with him when they have the time, he says. “I am not the leader.”

He points to the petition organized by Jake Eckardt, who collected 150 names and sent it to the Ministry.

“We’re hoping they’ll be acknowledge by the government, but there’s been nothing,” he said.

Instead, the RCMP have been called three times to have him removed. They understand it is a civil rights matter, he said.

The solution, he said, is doctors. “I think this can be changed, I really do,” he said. “You can’t blame people for being emotional about it.”