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  • Comment: Victoria's doctors strive to improve patient care

    September 19, 2017

    Times Colonist: When we talk about the challenges in primary care in BC, it’s important to remember we are not alone — access to care is an issue faced by patients all across Canada. These issues have been years in the making, and long-term solutions will not be easy or quick to implement. That said, significant changes are underway, many of them thanks to the hard work and leadership of local doctors working with partners at the community level. These doctors take this work on in addition to running their practices and caring for patients. Many changes are happening through the Divisions of Family Practice, local groups of physicians funded by government and Doctors of BC to form all-important relationships among physicians, government, health authorities and other health care providers, without which this work could not succeed. Read the full story >

  • Seminar offers help with chronic pain

    September 14, 2017

    Osoyoos Today: Local doctors and other health professionals in the South Okanagan and Keremeos are working together to provide a series of free chronic pain management seminars over the next two weeks. The seminars — to be held Sept. 19 in Osoyoos and Sept. 26 in Keremeos — will bring together a local physician, a physiotherapist and a pharmacist into a forum-style event that will allow those attending to ask questions and receive additional information to help with their respective situations. “We are excited about being able to host this event, as there are so many people living with pain on a daily basis,” explained Renate Hayden, Project Coordinator with the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Sidney’s youth health clinic gets a longer lease on life

    September 13, 2017

    Victoria News​: A youth clinic in Sidney is being extended a few more months as the numbers of people using it keep going up. Jen Harrison, Youth and Family Engagement Coordinator with the South Island Division of Family Practice, says after a slow start, there have been an average of eight youth between the ages of 12 and 24 coming to the after-hours clinic — reaching a high of 14 people in one two-hour opening. She credits that to the youth who are volunteering with the clinic, getting the word out to their peers. Read the full story >

  • More than 6,000 Kamloops residents remain on primary care waitlist

    September 13, 2017

    InfoTel News: With thousands of Kamloops residents still waiting for a family doctor, it looks like some progress is being made. A spokesperson for B.C.'s Health Ministry says in an email statement that about 2,200 people in Kamloops have been connected to a primary care provider, whether it's a nurse practitioner or a family doctor. But about 6,800 are still on HealthLink B.C.'s 8-1-1 waitlist for Kamloops residents searching for a family doctor. The list was set up last November because thousands of people in the city having no access to a family doctor. The ministry says there are 16 nurse practitioners in the city, and points out five new family doctors have come to Kamloops as part of the Practice Ready Assessment program. Read the full story >

  • Chilliwack MLA releases 65-point plan for potential Liberal leaders

    September 06, 2017

    Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows News​: Laurie Throness has announced he will not be running for leadership of the Liberal Party. But he does have a few thoughts on what he’d like to see in a leader. On Tuesday, the MLA for Chilliwack-Hope published a 65-point list of ideals he would like to be considered by potential party leaders. 
    There are seven points in the list focusing on health care improvements. The Progress sent that list to the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice for comment and received a reply from Dr Ralph Jones. Read the full story >

  • Doctors arrive at Kelowna retreat to tell Liberal MPs they won't stand for small business tax change

    September 06, 2017

    CBC News​: Doctors are warning that the Liberal government's proposed changes to the small business tax regime could force female physicians to leave the profession, and some have travelled to the national Liberal caucus meeting to turn up the heat on skittish MPs. Read the full story >

  • Support group has improved quality of life for many stroke and brain injury survivors

    September 05, 2017

    Osoyoos Times​: Recovering from a severe stroke or brain injury is almost always an overwhelmingly difficult and lonely journey, but that journey is being shared by a large group of Osoyoos residents. They belong to the Osoyoos Brain Injury/Stroke Support Group. The group is made up not only of those who have suffered a Stroke or brain injury, but also their caregivers, be it a husband, wife, other family member or friend. Read the full story >

  • Parksville clinic adds new doctor

    September 01, 2017

    Parksville Qualicum Beach News​: It may not plug much of the gap in the ongoing physician shortage in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but the arrival of a new doctor this week should at least provide a chance for some people without a family physician to finally get one. Dr Satish Desai, who has practised family medicine in Parksville for 35 years, announced the addition of Dr Natalia Levental to his practice, effective Sept. 1. Read the full story >

  • World suicide prevention day

    August 31, 2017

    Revelstoke Mountaineer​: This September 10, Revelstoke residents are being asked to light a candle as a symbol of hope, solidarity, love, compassion, remembrance for World Suicide Prevention Day. Read the full story >

  • Seven new opioid addiction treatment centres to open throughout Fraser Valley

    August 31, 2017

    CBC News​: The Fraser Health Authority (FHA) will rapidly expand access to opioid addictions treatment — including prescription methadone and Suboxone — by opening seven new clinics across the Lower Mainland. Clinics will open in Burnaby, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack through September and October to offer the first treatment for opioid addiction, in addition to two treatment centres already operating in Surrey. Read the full story >

  • People in Kamloops on HealthLink BC wait list shouldn't expect call about recent doctor openings

    August 31, 2017

    InfoNews.ca​: There are 1,200 openings remaining at the NorKam Healthcare Centre, but if you want one you will have to go to the clinic in person as they will not be calling people on the HealthLink B.C. waiting list. Manager Patti Aldrich says the Practice Ready Assessment program that brought the new doctors to town and the 8-1-1 hotline that is used to link patients with doctors are not under the purview of the same health agencies so the two programs don't communicate with each other. Read the full story >

  • Finding joy in song

    August 31, 2017

    Salmon Arm Observer​: If you can talk, you can sing! This is the premise on which three area women are creating the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir, a group designed to bring young and older members of the community together every week. This is not a professional choir and desire to sing is far more important than ability. Bratty and McKinnon took their idea to the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, where executive director Tracey Kirkman was immediately supportive, asking the doctors to write a proposal. Read the full story >

  • Kamloops welcomes new doctors through Practice Ready Assessment program

    August 30, 2017

    CFJC Today​: For years, offices at the NorKam Healthcare Centre sat empty, with no physicians available to fill the spaces left behind by retiring doctors. But with three new doctors being brought in over the past few months, the centre is once again operating with a full staff, and accepting new patients. Read the full story >

  • Family caregivers in BC feeling more depressed, angry: report

    August 30, 2017

    CBC News​: A new report from BC's seniors advocate says more and more family caregivers are feeling distressed in their role, despite receiving home support — some to the point of feeling as though they can't keep up with their duties. Read the full story >

  • Spike in Kelowna overdose deaths prompts public alert

    August 30, 2017

    CBC News​: Health officials in the Okanagan have issued a public alert after seven deaths from suspected drug overdoses in nine days. The exact cause for the spike in deaths in the Kelowna area between August 17 and 26 has yet to be determined, but Interior Health is advising all users of illegal drugs to take precautions. Those include carrying a naloxone kit and never consuming substances alone. Read the full story >

  • BC health minister vows new Kamloops hospital tower will proceed

    August 28, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: BC’s new health minister pledged Monday to move forward with the proposed surgical tower at Royal Inland Hospital and said Kamloops may be the recipient of an urgent-care centre outlined in the NDP’s platform. Read the full story >

  • NDP government makes commitment to the $417 million patient care tower

    August 28, 2017

    CJFC Today​: The BC health minister says the patient care tower is going ahead. Adrian Dix, who has been visiting wildfire-affected communities in the Interior, notes the $417 million building, which was announcement by the Liberal government, will be built. "Clearly what's needed in Kamloops, on top of a lot of other things, is a new patient care tower," said Dix. "Fortunately, we're on the path and we're going ahead. My instruction is, if there's anything I can do to make it happen quicker, I will." Dix says a request for qualification to build the tower is out and the government will shortlist companies in October. Read the full story >

  • Delays that led to Abbotsford hospital baby death draw apologies, criticism, changes, and review

    August 28, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: A communication lapse between doctors and a delay in getting a patient into surgery for an emergency caesarean section led to a stillbirth at Abbotsford Regional Hospital that prompted an inquiry by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, changes in procedures and an external review this fall. Read the full story >

  • Two new doctors coming to Clearwater

    August 27, 2017

    Clearwater Times​: Clearwater is getting two new physicians and they both chose this community because they like small town life. “I grew up in a small town and I have always wanted my children to grow up in the same way,” said Dr Kayode Bamigboje, formerly of Nigeria. “People in a small town watch out for each other.” Read the full story >

  • Province eyes more health-care services for Sooke

    August 25, 2017

    Saanich News​: The provincial government is “absolutely committed” to improving access to health care in Sooke, says Premier John Horgan. For months Mayor Maja Tait and the Sooke Primary Health Working Service Group has been lobbying the province, Island Health, the Capital Regional District and pretty much anyone who will listen on the need for better health-care program and facilities in Sooke. Read the full story >

  • International Medical Graduate program helps doctor shortage

    August 23, 2017

    Powell River Peak​: Among the many pressing health care issues facing Powell River is a chronic shortage of family doctors. One of the ways rural communities are trying to attract new doctors is through the International Medical Graduate (IMG) program. Currently, internationally trained doctors are being interviewed to practice in Powell River. “The International Medical Graduate programs provide qualified physicians who trained internationally an alternative pathway to practicing in BC,” said Powell River Division of Family Practice board chair David May. Read the full story >

  • $2M donation supports palliative program at Vancouver Coastal

    August 23, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has embarked on a three-year project to support healthcare professionals in integrating a palliative approach to care into clinical practice. VCH notes that a palliative approach to care “focuses on conversations with people about their needs and wishes, and allows them a greater sense of control over both their living and dying.” The regional health authority, which delivers $3.3 billion in healthcare annually to more than one million people in Vancouver and surrounding communities, will hire up to seven palliative-care specialists. These specialists, including nurses, will educate healthcare professionals about a palliative approach to care and help patients and their families better understand the palliative process. Read the full story >

  • Three new doctors join Fort St. John Family Practice Clinic

    August 23, 2017

    Energetic City​: The Fort St. John Family Practice Clinic announced today that three new graduate doctors have joined the practice. Drs Terri Hopkins, Kalun Boudreau, and John Breen are all recent graduates of the University of Northern BC, and all hail from Northern BC. Dr Terri Hopkins was actually raised in Fort St. John, and is happy to return to her hometown to practice medicine, according a clinic spokesperson. Read the full story >

  • Details of Taylor Medical Clinic agreement released

    August 22, 2017

    Energetic City: District of Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser and Council were able to release more details on Monday night surrounding the District of Taylor Medical Clinic agreement with the North Peace Primary Care Clinic that will start in September. Read the full story >

  • Vancouver health authority wants to hear from drug users about 'bad dope'

    August 22, 2017

    CBC News​: It has been six weeks since Vancouver Coastal Health launched an online program for drug users to report overdose-causing drugs, but so far the system has seen very little use. Read the full story >

  • New residential care home now open in Nanaimo

    August 16, 2017

    Nanaimo News Bulletin​: The doors are now open to Nanaimo’s newest residential care facility. Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence held its grand opening on Thursday with local dignitaries and residents celebrating the construction of the 136-bed, $27.4-million care facility. Read the full story >

  • Doctor shortage puts pressure on small town ERs

    August 16, 2017

    CBC News​: BC's ongoing doctor shortage is having adverse effects on rural emergency rooms, and doctors don't see any signs of improvement. Earlier this week, the South Okanagan General Hospital's (SOGH) emergency department — the only ER south of Penticton in the Okanagan Valley — narrowly avoided an overnight shutdown due to a lack of physician coverage. According to Dr Robin Saunders, a Vancouver Island based family physician and board member of Doctors of BC, the issue is symptomatic of a wider trend that afflicts many small town hospitals. Read the full story >

  • What you need to know about high blood pressure

    August 16, 2017

    Vancouver Courier​: On Monday, August 21 at 7 p.m., Dr Wong is presenting, “What You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure” at the Tommy Douglas Metrotown Library in Burnaby. This free presentation is sponsored by the Burnaby Division of Family Practice and the Burnaby Public Library. Because seating is limited, please register by phone at 604 436-5400, in person at any branch or online. Read the full story >

  • Chronic pain management seminar coming to Osoyoos on September 19

    August 15, 2017

    Osoyoos Times​: The Town of Osoyoos will be hosting a Chronic Pain Management information session and seminar from 7-9 p.m. at the Osoyoos Seniors’ Centre. “Whether you are personally living with chronic pain or are the caregiver of someone living with chronic pain, you will probably want to attend this workshop,” said Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff, who is a member of a rural health sustainability committee that has been meeting on a regular basis over the past several months. The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Initiatives was formed by the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice several months ago. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: "Apparently it's my fault that family practice needs improvement"

    August 13, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: The day started with the medical student and I meeting at the hospital to start rounds on the nine inpatients I was responsible for. This didn’t include any new admissions. I was covering for three colleagues who had taken time off–two to get married and the other to spend some time with his grandchild. Read the full story >

  • Three BC clinics subject to audits to examine billing practices

    August 10, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: With the blessing of the federal government, British Columbia is putting three health clinics under the financial microscope amid long-standing concerns about overbilling and the integrity of the country’s public health care system. Read the full story >

  • Two Vancouver doctors sanctioned by College of Physicians and Surgeons

    August 09, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: An orthopedic surgeon and a family physician — both Vancouver doctors — are the latest to face disciplinary action by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. Read the full story >

  • BC physician writes—and fixes—Wikipedia medical information

    August 08, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Dr James Heilman is an emergency physician at the Cranbrook hospital but when he’s not working shifts there or climbing local mountains, he’s at his computer writing and editing medical information on Wikipedia to ensure it’s an accurate resource. Heilman, head of emergency medicine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital and a UBC clinical professor, says he’s the only BC doctor—one of only a few hundred physicians around the world—volunteering time to the free, online Wikipedia encyclopedia. And about 875 articles he’s worked on have been translated to other languages. Read the full story >

  • Youth clinic in Sidney extended into the summer

    August 04, 2017

    Victoria News​: An after-hours clinic for youth in Sidney is being extended another month, after very positive reception by the community and an abundance of people using the clinic’s services. Originally open in June and July only, the Peninsula Youth Health Clinic will continue through August and one of the main organizers hopes to be able to keep it going even longer. “When something like this starts, it shows you just how many people have been waiting for it,” says Jen Harrison, Youth and Family Engagement Coordinator with the South Island Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Massive seniors’ care facility on time and budget, CRD told

    August 04, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Capital Regional District staff are hopeful a seniors’ care facility under construction will come in at or under its $65-million construction budget. “From a financial perspective as it relates to the project, we are cautiously optimistic that we are on track for the $65-million total construction portion of the budget,” Nelson Chan CRD chief financial officer told directors this week. More than $17 million in construction contracts for the Summit at Quadra Village facility were approved Wednesday by Capital Regional District directors—a total that came in significantly under estimates. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: System discriminates against family doctors

    August 02, 2017

    Times Colonist​: I was deeply saddened and, in fact, angered to read the editorial regarding family medicine (“Family medicine must improve,” July 29). Health care in our country and primary care in particular are in crisis, and pieces of writing like this are among the direct contributing causes. The overall flavour of this editorial is that individual family physicians are the cause of the problem, and it is our sole responsibility to fix it. This demonstrates an incredibly shallow understanding of the issues and once again makes community family physicians into health-care scapegoats. At its core, the problem is that our society still values heroic, episodic care in big hospitals, well beyond continuous community-based primary care. This plays out in particular in the funding of fee-for-service community family medicine as the lowest paid work that a family physician could do. Read the full editorial >

  • Controversial seniors development in Victoria heading to public hearing

    August 01, 2017

    BC Local News: It's a development some Victoria city councillors are seeing as a necessary piece to the city's complex housing puzzle. With a 0.5 per cent vacancy rate, the transformation of the Mount Edwards Court Apartments into 93 supportive and affordable rental units for seniors could help alleviate some of the city's housing crunch.The proposal at 1002 Vancouver St. would convert the existing building into 78 supportive housing units and 15 affordable rental units for seniors over age 50. The Victoria Cool Aid Society was chosen by BC Housing to operate the building. Supportive housing residents could be struggling with poverty, suffer from chronic physical health needs, mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse. At the facility, they will have access to services on-site such as life skills training, and connections to primary health care, mental health or substance use services. Read the full story >

  • More doctors heading for Lake Country

    August 01, 2017

    Vernon Morning Star​: More doctors are making their way to Lake Country. The Turtle Bay Medical Clinic, which opened in March, will have three new doctors in its facility in September. “We’re about half full right now, so this will pretty much fill up (the clinic),” said general manager Kiffer Walker. The clinic will have six full-time doctors with a possible seventh. Read the full story >

  • Editorial: Family medicine must improve

    July 29, 2017

    Times Colonist​: A recent comparison of family medicine in 11 developed countries ranks Canada at or near the bottom in most categories. The report, published by the Commonwealth Foundation, makes grim reading. Fewer than half of our country’s GPs arrange for patients to see a doctor or nurse when their office is closed, the worst ranking in the survey. And only a third of family physicians in BC make such provisions — second-lowest in Canada. Read the full editorial >

  • A new normal for Williams Lake

    July 28, 2017

    The Williams Lake Tribune​: Williams Lake is slowly starting to fill up with people again. Residents are returning to the lake city one day after officials announced their intention to lift the evacuation order for the city and many surrounding rural areas and replace it with an alert. As the evacuees return, so are some of the many services of the urban centre. Read the full story >

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