B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

The NDP government launched its new primary healthcare plan on Thursday, with Premier John Horgan promising it will deliver faster and improved access to healthcare.

“The kind of care people need, and how it’s delivered, has to change. It’s no longer as simple as a doctor-patient relationship,” said Horgan. “We need to be looking forward and providing team-based care that better meets the needs of British Columbians.”

The plan includes the NDP government’s election promise of 10 new urgent primary care centres to be set up over the next year and help take the pressure of hospital emergency rooms. Those will help people who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, as well as operate on weekend and hours outside of clinics.

“Our priority is to find new ways of working, co-ordinating services and delivering care so that British Columbians don’t have to wait so long, travel so far, and search so hard for the care they need,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

The government will also look to expand the teleheath service that many patients in rural communities rely on to speak to a specialist, as well as to new digital home health monitoring systems.

The government’s plan will focus on “team-based care”, which is a key part of its deal with the B.C. Green Party and will link doctors and other healthcare works into regional “primary care” networks to address doctor shortages, to streamline the referral process, and to provide patients with better support

These networks are being rolled out in Burnaby, Comox Valley, Prince George, Richmond and the South Okanagan-Similkameen region, and will arrive at another 15 communities within the next year. The goal is to set up the networks in 70 per cent of B.C. communities by 2021.

Funding will also be provided to hire up to 200 more general practitioners, as well as offer family medicine residents the chance to join. This is in addition to the $115 million announced a day earlier to hire 200 nurse practitioners over three years.

Community health centres are also in the works, which will act as central hubs for residents to seek information and connect with the health care resources nearby.

The government did not provide a budget for this new plan. A request for comment has been made to the health ministry.

Just Posted

Vernon pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

The annual event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream

Pre-registrations, sponsorships and donations for the CMHA annual Ride Don’t Hide event… Continue reading

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

Highlander dancer off to Canadians

Canadians take place July 3-7

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Most Read