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.

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

Just Posted

Chalo! FreshCo grocery store opens in Abbotsford

New grocery store jam packed on day one at former Safeway site

Photos of masked-marijuana-clinic robber released by Abbotsford police

Gunman robbed dispensary for cash and weed, still at large

UFV Cascades last Pacwest dance

Volleyball program moving to Canada West play after this weekend’s provincials

Abbotsford basketball teams head to provincials

Several local teams tipping off in Langley starting on Saturday

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down.

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Court awards Surrey Costco shopping cart collector $583K after car pins him

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when driver backed into him in the parking lot, pinning him

Monster Jam set to roar back into Vancouver

Monster truck tour to stop at PNE Coliseum in March

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Extradition case delayed for South Surrey fugitive caught in U.S. after year-long manhunt

Brandon Nathan Teixeira was arrested in California in December

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Most Read