Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen

An estimated 15,000 people in region do not have a family doctor

Representatives with the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice are seeking help with developing family practices in the region.

At the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District meeting on Thursday, Dr. Tim Phillips, co-chair of the Division of Family Practice, and chief executive officer Tracy St. Claire asked the hospital district for assistance in building family practices in the area.

Phillips said the traditional model of groups of doctors buying and operating their own spaces is no longer a feasible model.

“Family practice as we knew it 20 years ago is dying,” he said.

Instead, Phillips and St. Claire suggest providing space for doctors to practice medicine.

READ ALSO: Ponderosa Primary Care Centre celebrates the next step in patient care in the Okanagan

READ ALSO: Health care access, cost of travel top concerns for B.C. rural residents

The model they recommend is already in use at the Ponderosa Primary Care Centre.

That facility, which opened in early November, has six general practitioners and two nurse practitioners on staff and is open 12 hours a day Monday to Friday and shorter hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Phillips said similar care centres are needed throughout the region.

St. Claire added that around 15,000 people in the region are still in need of a family doctor.

Costs of these facilities vary by community.

St. Claire said estimated costs in Princeton would be $2 million to construct the facility and $500,000 for equipment.

In Penticton, $1 million for the building and $500,000 for the equipment would be needed.

The estimated cost for a Summerland facility would be $3 million for a building, with $750,000 for the necessary equipment.

In Keremeos, the cost of a facility is estimated at $1 million.

No locations have been identified for Oliver or Osoyoos.

Princeton mayor Spencer Coyne said family practice centres will not be the same in all communities in the region.

“Summerland and Princeton will be completely different at the end of the day,” he said.

Riley Gettens, director for Electoral Area F, said further discussion is needed.

“I think it’s important that the conversation keeps going,” she said.

Petra Veintimilla, chair of the regional hospital district, also believes the hospital board should discuss the issue further.

“It’s all of us, not just one community,” she said. “As a larger group, we can make a bigger dent.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

UPDATE: Good Samaritan delivers stolen sentimental mail

Some items stolen from boxes in the BX area were returned to the rightful owner

WATCH: Armstrong retirement community adapts amid COVID-19

Heaton Place rethinks programming to ensure residents stay safe, healthy and entertained

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Answer your phone, Vernon school district says

No caller ID or unknown callers could be your child’s teacher reaching out

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Most Read