Printer-friendly version   

The Best Place on Earth                                BCMA_bw

 

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2010HSERV0036-000746

June 24, 2010

Ministry of Health Services
BC Medical Association

 

 

B.C. COMMITS TO A FAMILY DOCTOR FOR EVERYONE BY 2015

 

WHITE ROCK – The Province’s ongoing overhaul of its primary health-care system is being made stronger with a $137-million investment to strengthen service delivery, ensure patients are full participants in their care and provide every British Columbian who wants a family doctor with one by 2015, Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.

 

This unique integrated model of primary and community care will see family physicians working in collaboration with the Province, the BC Medical Association (BCMA), regional health authorities and other health-care professionals, including medical specialists, to provide better care for patients with chronic diseases, seniors and complex health needs.

 

“Ensuring that British Columbians have access to their own family doctor – a health professional who is familiar with their medical history – can drastically improve health outcomes for patients and in doing so, can help ensure the sustainability of our health system.” said Falcon. “This shift will change the patient’s journey through the health system and streamline care so patients receive consistent and appropriate care through their family doctor over a lifetime.”

 

“Some exceptional work is being done in B.C. to improve how primary care is delivered and it is yielding some impressive results” said BCMA president Dr. Ian Gillespie. “The move to connect more people with a family doctor of their own and to do a better job of integrating their total care is another important step in our work together with government and the health authorities.”

 

The objective is clear, all British Columbians will have access to a family physician but the Province will also focus on specific patient groups. Under the new primary health care, high needs patients, frail seniors and patients with chronic diseases will be provided with enhanced care planning and support with an individualized and co-ordinated personal medical health-care plan linking together various health professionals to provide better quality care. The team could include the family physician, medical specialists, nurses, pharmacists and other allied health professionals. For a patient receiving home care, their support staff will be directly linked to their family doctor and the extended health care team to better coordinate care.

 

Patients with higher needs will have access to innovative models of care. This will include faster access to medical consultations with specialists with the introduction of a new payment mechanism that will allow family physicians to get immediate telephone access to a medical specialist for a telephone consultation.

 

“My health is very important to me,” said White Rock-South Surrey patient Sheila Allison. “I have a family doctor who knows me, listens to my concerns and treats me as a partner in my care. I believe everyone should have access to a long-term relationship with a family physician.”

 

Development of the new primary health-care initiative is currently underway in White Rock-South Surrey, Prince George and Cowichan Valley and will expand to other areas of the province, with the new primary care model being introduced in up to 20 communities as early as fall 2010. It is anticipated that up to 400,000 British Columbians and 400 physicians will participate in the first phase of this program.

 

“We are seeing real benefits in being able to bring together family doctors through our local Division of Family Practice,” said Dr. Brenda Hefford, White Rock family physician and executive lead with Fraser Health. “In our community, the doctors have enjoyed strong collegial relationships, but we have not had a mechanism until now for working together as a group in collaboration with other partners in the health-care system and community.” 

 

“These new relationships and partnerships give us the confidence and support to tackle issues that none of us can address on our own,” continued Hefford. “We are excited about being able to increase the number of people who have their own family doctor and to deepen the relationship between patients and their doctors. We look forward to beginning to see the benefits to their health from this relationship.”

 

A key part of the new primary health-care initiative at the community level is the introduction of Divisions of Family Practice. Divisions of Family Practice provide a practical way for family physicians to work collaboratively as a group with regional health authorities and other community partners to provide the best care possible for patients, especially patients with higher needs such as mental illness, frailties and chronic diseases.

 

“My experience in Mackenzie with six doctors in three years is a reflection of the experience of many rural or remote communities,” said Mackenzie, B.C. patient Pat Crook. "Physician attachment is more than just a name attached to a patient; it is a long term relationship, which is why we need to get creative with our health care models and work on physician retention in rural and remote communities. Solutions like Northern Health’s alternative payment plan for doctors will hopefully address the problem of retention of doctors in rural or remote communities like Mackenzie."

 

Each participating division will make it easier for patients who do not have a family physician to find one. Divisions of Family Practice will provide a one stop call to assist people who arrive in a new community to find a family doctor. The same type of link would work for patients without a family doctor who arrive in the emergency department and are given the contact information for the division in order to get a family doctor of their own.

 

Family doctors will also use new innovations to build on their capacity to take on additional patients. This could involve offering group consultations for patients with chronic diseases instead of the traditional one-on-one consultation. The minister also hopes that this could include the broader use of nurse practitioners in integrated primary and community care and will ask the BCMA to explore this with government.

 

The move to a more integrated primary health care system will be a partnership between the health authority and the Divisions of Family Practice. Initially, this integrated care program will launch in up to eight communities: Cowichan Valley, North Vancouver, Powell River, Chilliwack, White Rock-South Surrey, Kamloops, Prince George and Prince Rupert. By March 2011, integration will have begun in more than 40 communities and regions of the province and, by 2015, the program will be available in more than 160 B.C. communities, covering the entire province.

 

The shift in primary health-care is part of the innovation and change agenda to improve patient care while managing growing health care costs and ensuring sustainability. In April, the Province launched patient-focused funding to initially offer hospitals financial incentives to deliver acute care services for a competitive, set price. In the second year, the Province will look at expanding patient-focused funding to support primary health care.

 

-30-

 

Three backgrounders follow:

 

Media contacts:

Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

Sharon Shore

Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations

BC Medical Association

604 638-2832 or 604 306-1866

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.

 


 

BACKGROUNDER 1

For Immediate Release
2010HSERV0036-000746

June 24, 2010

Ministry of Health Services
BC Medical Association

 

 

DIVISIONS OF FAMILY PRACTICE

 

B.C.’s new model of primary and community care will take a phased-in approach and in the initial stages, the new primary care model will begin in three Divisions of Family Practice. These three communities/regions were chosen because they were working in collaboration already with the health authorities and local community organizations, and because the goals matched community priorities. These three divisions are:

 

Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice

 

The Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice was established in October 2009. This division serves communities in the Cowichan Valley, including: Ladysmith, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake and Lake Cowichan.

 

The Cowichan division has four main focuses:

·         Improving Aboriginal health care.

·         Maternity care.

·         Mental health and substance use.

·         Reducing inappropriate use of the emergency department.

 

Prince George Division of Family Practice

 

The Prince George Division of Family Practice was established in January 2009 and is one of the first three division prototypes launched in the province. The division currently has more than 75 members.

 

The Prince George division has three clinical programs underway or in development:

·         Inpatient Primary Care Doctor program, providing continuous care for all patients who are admitted to the hospital without access to a family physician with hospital privileges.

·         Complex Residential Care Physician program, supporting quality consistent primary care for patients in Prince George residential care facilities.

·         Primary Care Community Plan - supporting quality long-term primary care for patients in family practices and the entire population of Prince George.

 

White Rock/South Surrey Division of Family Practice

 

White Rock-South Surrey was one of the first communities in the province to establish this new model for primary care collaboration. The division now operates the Hospital Care (“House Doc”) program at Peace Arch Hospital to provide a community physician on site at the hospital during office hours, as a resource for general practitioners to help in the care of their hospitalized patients, and to be available to respond to acute clinical concerns on behalf of the doctor on call.

 


 

Other planned activities include:

·         Enhancing residential care programs.

·         More physician health programs.

·         Recruiting new full-service physicians for the community.

 

-30-

Media contacts:

 

Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

Sharon Shore

Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations

BC Medical Association

604-638-2832 or 604-306-1866

 

 


 

BACKGROUNDER 2

For Immediate Release
2010HSERV0036-000746

June 24, 2010

Ministry of Health Services
BC Medical Association

 

 

 

FIRST PHASE INTEGRATION COMMUNITIES

 

B.C.’s move to a more integrated primary and community health care system will begin in communities and regions across the province in 2010-11. The following communities have been identified by health authorities for integration.

 


Fraser Health

Abbotsford

Agassiz

Chilliwack

Hope (Boston Bar)

Langley

Maple Ridge

Mission

New Westminster

Port Moody

Surrey

White Rock/South Surrey

 

Interior Health

Armstrong

Castlegar

Cranbrook

Kamloops

Kelowna

Kimberly

Nelson

Oliver

Osoyoos

Peachland

Trail

Vernon

West Kelowna

 

Northern Health

Fort St. John

Fraser Lake

Mackenzie

Prince George

Prince Rupert

Valemount

 

Vancouver Coastal Health

North Vancouver

Powell River

Richmond

Sunshine Coast

Vancouver City Centre

Vancouver Eastside

Vancouver Midtown

Vancouver North East

Vancouver South

West Vancouver

 

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Mount Waddington

·      Alert Bay

·       Holberg

·       Port Alice

·       Port Hardy

·       Port McNeill

·       Sointula

·       Woss

Cowichan Valley

·      Chemainus

·      Duncan

·      Mill Bay

Saanich

·         North Saanich

·         Saanichton

·         Sidney


 

-30-


Media contact:

 

Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

BACKGROUNDER 3

For Immediate Release
2010HSERV0036-000746

June 24, 2010

Ministry of Health Services
BC Medical Association

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL PRIMARY HEALTH-CARE MODELS

 

While the General Practice Services Committee as an overarching committee to improve both patient and physician satisfaction is a unique model, there are Divisions of Family Practice in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. B.C.’s approach is somewhat influenced by the U.K. and Australia experiences, but more closely parallels current B.C. collaborative projects such as the B.C. Maternity Care Networks.

 

AUSTRALIA – Divisions of General Practice

 

Australia’s government-funded, not-for-profit divisions of general practice were created in the 1992 through an agreement between the Australian federal government, the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Australia’s 112 divisions work in partnership with physicians and the wider community to deliver community-specific health solutions.

 

NEW ZEALAND - Primary Health Organizations

 

First established in 2002, there are 81 primary health organizations (PHOs) located across New Zealand. These not-for-profit organizations involve doctors, nurses and a variety of other health-care professionals including Māori health workers, dieticians and pharmacists in patient care.

 

PHOs receive government funding based on the specific population served and one of the main goals is to reach high-needs populations, including indigenous peoples and those without access to primary health care.

 

UNITED KINGDOM - Primary Care Trusts

 

In the U.K., around 150 primary care trusts work to ensure that patients have access to health and social care within the community and are involved in community health planning and primary care development. PCTs co-ordinate with other primary health services including hospitals, dentists, opticians, pharmacists and mental health services.

 

-30-

Media contacts:

 

Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

Sharon Shore

Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations

BC Medical Association

604 638-2832 or 604 306-1866

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.