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In the News

  • Most Canadians get timely medical treatment: report

    March 28, 2017

    The Globe and Mail: A new report suggests three out of four Canadians are getting treated within recommended time frames when it comes to certain priority procedures. However, the numbers also show regional differences, indicating that not all Canadians are getting equal access to these procedures. The report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) looked at whether patients were receiving treatment within a time frame deemed medically acceptable for procedures including hip replacement, hip-fracture repair, knee replacement, cataract surgery and radiation therapy. It also tabulated wait times for cancer surgeries, MRI and CT scans. Read the full story >

  • Vancouver billionaire Jim Pattison donates $75M towards new St. Paul's Hospital

    March 28, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: Vancouver billionaire Jimmy Pattison has made what’s being described as the largest donation in Canadian history to a medical facility by an individual. The donation will support the redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital on its new site in False Creek flats. The money will go towards what will be called the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, a medical and research centre. The new hospital – which has been estimated to cost at least $1.2 billion – is expected to be completed in about seven years. But construction has not yet begun as zoning and planning continues. Read the full story >

  • Access to care for BC seniors declining due to privatization: report

    March 27, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: The provincial policy of privatizing home and community care services for seniors has resulted in less access for people in need, says a new report released today. Between 2001 and 2016, the closure of 40 care facilities operated by either health authorities or non-profit organizations has resulted in a drop in residential care beds of 11 per cent. During the same period, the for-profit sector increased 42 per cent, according to the report. Read the full story >

  • Co-op health clinic in James Bay struggles with bills amid shortage of doctors

    March 26, 2017

    Times Colonist​: The Victoria Health Co-operative says a family-doctor shortage has left it struggling to pay bills for the clinic, which serves 7,300 patients. The non-profit has operated the Co-op Health Centre at the James Bay Community Project since 2010. It collects 32.5 per cent of doctors’ revenue from the BC Medical Services Plan to cover rent, office staff, electronic medical records and other administrative costs. MSP rates include a portion accountable to overhead costs, which can range from 16 per cent for an extremely efficient practice to 50 per cent. Locums, who fill in for other doctors, expect to contribute 30 to 40 per cent of their billings to overhead, according to Doctors of BC. Read the full story >

  • New Health and Wellness Centre opens for seniors with age-related diseases

    March 25, 2017

    Kelowna Now: A new Seniors Health and Wellness Centre has opened up in Kelowna within the Cottonwoods Care Centre. The centre will benefit those with frailty and age-related medical conditions through offering access to specialist services. Particular services include multidisciplinary assessments, short-term therapeutic interventions and access to geriatricians and family doctors with a special interest in geriatrics. The centre will also offer education and connections to other community services that will help seniors access programs promoting health and wellness as well advise on how to live independently for as long as possible. Read the full story >

  • New one-stop shop for seniors health opens in Kelowna

    March 24, 2017

    Salmon Arm Observer​: Interior Health has opened, in Kelowna, what it hopes will be the first of many seniors’ health and wellness centres across the health region. The specialized centre helps seniors with frailty and age-related medical conditions through a multi-disciplinary approach and access to specialist services. “The Ministry of Health asked the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice and Interior Health to work together toward excellence in seniors’ care in our communities,” said Dr. Gayle Klammer, Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice member, co-chairwoman of the Local Action Team and Implementation Team and a Kelowna GP. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: How can we best improve health care in BC?

    March 23, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Thank you to Gery Lemon and View Royal Mayor David Screech for their excellent and thought-provoking commentary concerning excessive wait times for diagnostic imaging, specialist services and large numbers of citizens without access to a family physician (“Why the long wait to see a doctor in Victoria?” comment, March 17). As a GP in View Royal for 15 years, and in Langford for six years before that, I am acutely aware of wait lists and family-physician shortages, most notably in the West Shore, one of the fastest-growing regions in BC. Read the full op-ed >

  • Homeless protest camp sets up in Duncan

    March 22, 2017

    Cowichan Valley Citizen​: Crissy Brett wants to do her part to draw attention to the homeless problem in the Cowichan Valley, and across BC, as the provincial election approaches. Brett, a member of the Nuxalt First Nation who lives in Crofton, has set up a small tent city on the corner of the Trans Canada Highway and Beverly Street in Duncan. The United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island, in collaboration with Cowichan Housing Association, Our Cowichan, Cowichan Mental Health, Social Planning Cowichan, The Division of Family Practice, and the Substance Use Collective Impact Team hosted a conference on homelessness in Duncan earlier this month. Read the full story >

  • Site chosen for care beds at the former Cariboo Lodge: Jubilee House will have to relocate

    March 21, 2017

    Williams Lake Tribune​: Interior Health announced Friday it has awarded the contract to develop 70 residential care beds in Williams Lake to inSite Housing, Hospitality Health Services Inc. The new facility will be built at the former Cariboo Lodge site in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue North, a location Mayor Walt Cobb described as ideal. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: Strengthening care for seniors

    March 21, 2017

    Williams Lake Tribune​: Our government is investing $500 million over the next four years as part of an action plan to improve care for seniors across the province, including increasing direct-care hours for seniors in residential care. Read the full op-ed >

  • The Hamlets in Kamloops to add 48 residential care beds

    March 20, 2017

    InfoTel News​: Residential care for seniors in Kamloops is getting a helping hand with the addition of 48 care beds. These beds are for seniors who require 24-hour care. Sometimes these patients have complex health needs, or dementia. According to a media release, Interior Health issued a request for proposals in September 2016 for design, construction and operation of 243 new residential care beds. Read the full story >

  • Redevelopment threatens day care for 125 frail seniors at George Pearson Centre

    March 19, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: The multi-million dollar redevelopment of the site around the George Pearson Centre at Cambie and 57th Avenue may disrupt the lives of 125 frail seniors in an adult day care program. Read the full story >

  • West Shore health care: direct action is needed

    March 17, 2017

    Goldstream News Gazette​: On Feb. 28 I attended the third of a series of meetings organized by the South Island Division of Family Practice. Entitled “Primary Health Care in the Western Communities,” this event focused on the lack of doctors in the West Shore and Sooke and was attended by municipal representatives, community partners, doctors and other health-care providers. Read the full story >

  • Interior Health awards contract to inSite for 70 care beds in Williams Lake

    March 17, 2017

    Williams Lake Tribune​: Interior Health announced Friday it has awarded the contract to develop 70 residential care beds in Williams Lake to inSite Housing, Hospitality Health Services Inc. Read the full story >

  • Health critic discusses privatization, MSP

    March 17, 2017

    Comox Valley Record​: From primary to residential care, provincial NDP health critic Judy Darcy offered up her party’s stance on the challenges of health care for BC residents Saturday in Comox. During a health care forum at the Little Red Church Hall, Darcy spoke about her party’s plans to reform health care in the province, then answered questions and took comments from a crowd of about 50 people for more than an hour. Read the full story >

  • Boost in funding will help seniors age in place, says North Delta MLA

    March 17, 2017

    Surrey Now​: BC has pledged $500 million over four years for seniors funding, and Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton said that means more Delta seniors will be able to grow old at home. The funding, announced on March 9, sets aside $275 million for home and community care. This money will go towards expanded home support services and hours, as well as increased home health monitoring. Read the full story >

  • Focus on Nanaimo family doctor shortage reaping rewards

    March 16, 2017

    Nanaimo News Now​: While there's no magical cure for solving Nanaimo's family doctor shortage, healthcare professionals are reporting progress. The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice (NDFP) was established in 2011, in part to help recruit doctors, at a time when the agency estimated 11,000 people in the Nanaimo area did not have a family physician. Read the full story >

  • Details still to come on long-term care funding

    March 16, 2017

    Coast Reporter​: It’s still not clear how last week’s announcement that the province is going to spend $500 million over the next four years to improve care for seniors will be reflected locally. The future of long-term care on the Sunshine Coast has been a subject of vigorous debate since Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) announced last June that it was planning to close Shorncliffe and Totem Lodge in August 2018 and purchase 128 beds in a privately run facility to be built in Sechelt by Trellis Seniors Services. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: How to improve seniors' care in BC

    March 16, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: As we have seen from recent news coverage, significant concerns exist regarding the overcrowding of emergency rooms in the Fraser Health region. As a result, some have called for increased investments into primary and acute care to prevent unsafe overcrowding. While this seems like a common-sense solution, it may only have a temporary band-aid effect as it will not address the root cause of the problem, which is the lack of appropriate supports in home and community care. Read the full op-ed >

  • More staff for Delta care homes

    March 15, 2017

    Delta Optimist​: The Liberal government has committed major dollars to address care homes staffing problems in Delta and elsewhere. Health Minister Terry Lake last week announced $500 million for a four-year action plan to hire an additional 1,500 care aides, nurses and other caregivers to assist seniors in need. The goal is for care home residents in each health authority to receive an average of 3.36 directcare hours per day, which is a benchmark recommended by the ministry. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: BC VIEWS: Bonus baths for BC seniors

    March 14, 2017

    Terrace Standard: Premier Christy Clark said she hadn’t seen the little web attack ad that was released a couple of weeks ago by the BC Federation of Labour. The “Game Over” spot imitates an early “Super Mario” video game, with a pixelated Clark in a pink hard hat hopping from photo op to photo op, collecting points for closing a school and understaffing a seniors’ care home. The school closing is a cheap shot, but the latter scenario hit home. We’ve heard the horror stories for years, with contract operators laying off all their staff to reincorporate or sell, elderly residents limited to one bath per week, drugs over-used to quiet residents, and injuries to caregivers from lifting frail elderly people. Read the full op-ed >

  • More funding for province's seniors announced

    March 14, 2017

    Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal​: On March 9, the provincial government announced that it plans to invest $500 million in seniors’ care over the next four years; a move that was applauded by such bodies as the Office of the Seniors Advocate, the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), and the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA). Read the full story >

  • BC doctors lobbying against adding new beds at Catholic hospice

    March 14, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: Over 80 doctors in the Comox Valley have signed a letter to the local health authority asking that it not expand the hospice program at St. Joseph’s hospital because the institution does not offer medical aid in dying (MAID). Read the full story (free membership required) >

  • Nurse practitioners can solve BC primary care woes, conference told

    March 14, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: Despite decades of government dollars directed to efforts such as A GP For Me—a Doctors of BC and provincial partnership—approximately 15% of British Columbians are still lacking a family physician. The solution? A greater role for nurse practitioners, according to their provincial association. Read the full story (free membership required) >

  • Opinion: College should collaborate to curb abuse of painkillers

    March 11, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: If your only tool is regulation, everyone appears under-regulated; at least that’s the impression one would gain from reading Dr. Ailve McNestry’s opinion in The Vancouver Sun on Feb. 22. McNestry, a deputy registrar and spokeswoman for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, described a BC man with a complex history of chronic pain and mental-health disorders as a doctor-shopping abuser of painkillers and other addictive drugs. Read the full story >

  • Bringing senior health and substance abuse into the conversation

    March 11, 2017

    Penticton Western News: Pathways Addiction Resource Centre is reaching out to older community members who may be struggling silently. Older Adults Sharing Information on Substance use (OASIS) assists older adults and their caregivers to manage mental health and substance use, physical health needs and overall well-being. Read the full story >

  • Mackey family volunteer in Zimbabwe and Uganda

    March 10, 2017

    Alaska Highway News: My physician husband Paul and I, a pharmacist, had often discussed doing overseas volunteer work. While at a medical conference in 2015, Paul learned about a project at Karanda Mission Hospital (KMH) in Zimbabwe. He spent the month of September 2015 there, expanding the use of the electronic medical record program. In 2016, we had a window of opportunity and after much planning we departed Fort St. John on Sept. 1 with our two teenage daughters. Read the full story >

  • Doctors paint bleak picture of impacts of bed shortage

    March 10, 2017

    Coast Reporter: The mayor of Sechelt says council is willing to back local doctors concerned about overcrowding at Sechelt Hospital, but cautioned it’s too early for the doctors to make a pitch for zoning and other approvals for a specific project. Read the full story >

  • Only walk-in clinic on Kamloops's North Shore set to close

    March 09, 2017

    CBC News: The Norkam Healthcare Centre on Kamloops, BC's North Shore — the only walk-in clinic on that side of the city — will be phasing out its walk-in clinic services over the next six weeks. Clinic manager Patti Aldrich said the closure comes because the lack of available family physicians has meant the clinic is being used for primary care, overwhelming its doctors and staff. Read the full story >

  • UPDATE: ARH not among ER expansion projects

    March 09, 2017

    Abbotsford News: Staff at the Ministry of Health and Fraser Health Authority say that proposed emergency room expansions do not include an upgrade to Abbotsford Regional Hospital's ER, contrary to what Health Minister Terry Lake told The News Wednesday. Staff say Lake was given incorrect information prior to Wednesday's interview and that the ARH ER is not, in fact, among those that would be expanded if business plans in front of the Ministry of Health are approved. Read the full story >

  • British Columbia announces four-year, $500-million seniors-care plan

    March 09, 2017

    The Globe and Mail: Seniors in British Columbia residential care facilities can expect more baths, walks and bathroom breaks as a result of a $500-million government care plan, Isobel Mackenzie, the province’s senior’s advocate, said Thursday. Health Minister Terry Lake said the government will spend $500-million over the next four years to improve care for seniors, setting a target to average 3.36 direct-care hours daily to seniors in public and private residential care facilities. Read the full story >

  • GET IN LINE: How the North Kamloops walk-in closure could impact patients and clinics

    March 08, 2017

    InfoTel News: Evelyne Magowan and her family are feeling the pressure being placed on Kamloops residents during the city’s family doctor shortage – but now she fears this is turning into a crisis situation. More than 3,200 people have watched a video posted to Facebook by Magowan’s daughter. In the video, Magowan calls on BC Premier Christy Clark and BC NDP leader John Horgan to directly address the Kamloops doctor shortage. Read the full story >

  • Town hall meeting to discuss public health care

    March 08, 2017

    Comox Valley Record: On May 9, British Columbians head to the polls to elect a government that reflects their values. Now is the time, with the election approaching, to make local candidates and their political parties aware of the issues that matter to you, their constituents. The Comox Valley Council of Canadians invites you to an informative town hall meetiong on Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m., at the Evergreen Seniors Lounge, where a panel of guest speakers will discuss health care issues and changes that could improve our system. Read the full story >

  • Interior Health adding 30 residential care beds

    March 08, 2017

    Cranbrook Daily Townsman: Interior Health has awarded a contract for the development of 30 new residential care beds in Cranbrook to Golden Life Management. “The addition of these 30 beds supports those residents in our community who require 24-hour care,” said East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett. “These beds will help ensure seniors and others in our area who have complex care needs live out their days in a comfortable, home-like environment.” The 30 beds are part of a plan for 243 new beds across Interior Health, following a request for proposal (RFP) that was issued last September. Read the full story >

  • Military families in BC struggle to find family doctors

    March 08, 2017

    Global News: Life in the military often means having to pack up and move. “It’s not uncommon for us to move every two to four years,” said Derrick Allday, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. That itinerant lifestyle can be particularly challenging for members of the military stationed in BC who often struggle to find a family doctor. Read the full story >

  • Lake hopes to keep clinic open

    March 07, 2017

    Kamloops this Week: Although operators of the NorKam Health Care Centre have said they will close its walk-in clinic component, the province’s health minister has other ideas. Terry Lake said he called Dr. Susan Vlahos, who operates the clinic as well as having her own primary-care practice there, and asked what can be done to keep the service in place. “We reached out to her,” Lake said, noting he had preliminary talks on ways to continue the service that has 19,000 registered patients. Read the full story >

  • Letter to the editor: Doctors respond in defence of hospital care

    March 07, 2017

    Comox Valley Record: Dear editor, Recently, letters to the local paper regarding access to MAiD in our community appear to question the quality of care provided at St. Joseph’s Hospital and The Views. Indeed, there have been repeated claims that compassion is lacking at St. Joseph’s. Read the full letter >

  • Drug counselling for seniors

    March 07, 2017

    Castanet: Pathways Addiction Resource Centre in Penticton is launching a new program on substance use for seniors. The Older Adults Sharing Information on Substance use (OASIS) program is designed to help older adults and their caregivers in the South Okanagan. It will provide education and counselling to encourage healthy lifestyles and minimize the risk of substance use and medication misuses. Read the full story >

  • Taylor clinic gets three-month reprieve

    March 07, 2017

    Alaska Highway News: District of Taylor councillors voted Monday evening to fund the municipality’s medical clinic through the end of June, buying officials more time to deliver on a plan to recruit a new doctor to the community. “I’m not ready to give up the medical clinic and I think we would be if we don’t do this,” said Coun. Betty Ponto as she moved to adopt a three-month, $84,000 budget to cover physician salaries and the clinic’s operations until June 30. Read the full story >

  • Four new doctors arrive in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Chetwynd

    March 06, 2017

    Energetic City: The provincial government announced today that fourteen new internationally-trained physicians will begin practising in rural and remote communities in BC, four of whom will be coming to the Peace Region. Two of the new doctors will be moving to Dawson Creek, while Fort St. John and Chetwynd will also get one new physician. The four doctors were recruited throught the Practice Ready Assessment-BC program, a partnership between the provincial government and Doctors of BC. Read the full story >


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