Two upcoming operational changes by the GPSC will enhance their linkages with local and regional collaborative tables, while providing more flexibility to support turning provincial policy and strategy into action.
Decreased meeting frequency. The GPSC will now meet five times a year.
More consistent member representation at CSCs and ISCs. Starting in early 2018, each health authority region will be assigned a team of three representatives: one each from Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health, and a senior GPSC support staff member (half of CSCs currently don't have consistent GPSC representation.)
For more information about these changes, plus a list of FAQs, visit the GPSC website.
The movement towards team-based care in BC is helping to ensure that doctors are better supported in providing comprehensive primary care to their patients. Two recent examples from the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice show the benefits that a team approach can have on a practice. >
The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, like many other divisions around the province, is creating grassroots, community-based solutions to address the provincial opioid crisis at the local level. The division is committed to stemming the tide of opioid overdoses in its communities through a series of strategies to support patients who have chronic pain and opioid addiction issues, and the physicians who care for them. >
As of October 1, 2017, doctors will have access to a new GPSC fee that supports team-based care. The GP-Patient Email/Text/Telephone Medical Advice Relay fee will enable doctors to communicate effectively with patients and to delegate communications to their MOAs and allied health professionals. This incentive will be applicable to all patients. The introduction of this new fee is in addition to the committee’s changes to some of its incentives that better support physicians in practice to improve access to care and services for their patients. >
As part of its commitment to patient education, the Burnaby Division of Family Practice has created a video miniseries entitled “Why Your Emotional Health Matters” that provides patients with guidance in taking care of their own emotional and mental health, and educates them on practical and simple steps they can take to increase their emotional health and wellbeing. This three-part video series is part of the extensive “Empowering Patients” resource collection that aims to help patients better understand how to optimize their health through their relationship with their doctor and in their daily lives. >
The recent wildfires in BC’s interior caused a state of emergency that resulted in the largest medical evacuation ever undertaken by Interior Health. More than 400 patients were moved from Interior Health facilities in 100 Mile House, Alexis Creek, Ashcroft, and Williams Lake, and 60 physicians were displaced from those communities and the surrounding areas. >
People in the Penticton area who have mental health or substance use challenges are getting their lives back on track thanks to a committed, caring team made up of doctors, mental health professionals, and a social worker at the Martin Street Outreach Clinic. >
The Salt Spring Island Child and Youth Mental Health Local Action Team has created a youth suicide intervention toolkit, providing information and support to children and youth in the community who are struggling with suicidal ideation. >
In October 2015, the Victoria Division of Family Practice launched a series of physician-run group medical visits aimed at teaching patients cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills to self-manage their issues with anxiety and depression. As of spring 2017, more than 1700 patients have participated in the program, which offers 12 hours of psycho-education in the group setting (provided at the same cost to the system as four 20-minute counselling visits with their family doctor). >
Click here to read an article in the Terrace Standard about Dr Appleton and his award win.
Dr Cecilia Siegling, a member of the Prince George Division, has won the 2017 My Family Doctor Award from the BC College of Family Physicians. The award honours the relationship between a family doctor and their patient, giving patients an opportunity to nominate their family doctor for providing outstanding care. >
The North Peace Division of Family Practice and two rural physicians—Dr Leta Burechailo, member of the Powell River Division, and Dr Nicole Ebert, member of the Northern Interior Rural Division—have been honoured with BC Rural Health Awards, which recognize physicians and organizations for their contributions to rural medical practice. >
Dr Margaret Myslek, a family physician in Oliver, was finding it challenging to make time to visit patients at nursing homes. But that changed last year, when she adopted a new office practice, which put rapid access appointment blocks into her calendar 2 to 3 days per week. Patients with simple issues that can be solved in 5 minutes are now routinely booked into these spots. >
Five members of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice have won the Doctors of BC Excellence in Health Promotion Award, presented annually to individuals and organizations undertaking health promotion activities that improve access to care for vulnerable populations, engage individuals in community events, and encourage children and youth to pursue active, healthy lifestyles. >
On June 5, 2017, BC physicians involved in opioid addiction treatment switch to a new guideline from the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). “A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder” will replace the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC's (CPSBC) “Methadone and Buprenorphine: Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Use Disorder.” Among the recommendations, the Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder strongly endorses the use of buprenorphine/naloxone as the preferred first-line treatment option for opioid use disorder, as well as sets out the risks and benefits of buprenorphine/naloxone relative to methadone. >
Education and awareness are a key component in enabling physicians to provide the best possible care to patients who have pain management and opioid addiction issues. Recognizing this need, many divisions have been organizing CME and information sessions to update members (and other health care professionals) on topics like pain management and addiction services available in their communities, patient self-management strategies, and current opioid prescribing guidelines. >
The Comox Valley division has partnered with community representatives and local RCMP to establish a standardized approach to safe opioid practices in the community. >
New provincial guidelines suggest that withdrawal management is most effective when it is part of a long-term wellness and recovery plan, through which individuals may be linked with ongoing support services that may include a combination of psychosocial treatment interventions, psychosocial supports, residential treatment, and pharmacotherapies. >
The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice has developed an innovative way to support local doctors in caring for patients with addiction issues. Recognizing the importance of providing doctors with opportunities to become educated in Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), members of the division’s physician advisory team concluded that physicians also need proactive support in order to gain confidence in the process for prescribing Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone and its generics). The team speculated that this support could be provided remotely, on a case-by-case basis, by addiction specialists acting as physician e-mentors. >
response to the growing opioid crisis in the province, many divisions
of family practice are supporting doctors and patients in their
communities by creating resources on opioid prescribing and pain
Kootenay Boundary has created a wide range of tools and resources to assist physicians in helping their patients manage chronic pain. >
The John Barsby Wellness Centre, a collaborative project involving the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice, received the Excellence in Quality: Staying Healthy award at the 2017 Quality Awards. Providing students with easy access to health care practitioners including GPs, RNs, a social worker, and mental health counsellors, the Centre is a natural fit for an award celebrating projects that prevent injury, illness, or disability. >
New doctors are setting up practice in 11 provinces around BC, after completing the latest session of the Practice Readiness Program (PRA-BC, a collaborative service between the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC). >
Nearly 300 of BC’s primary health care leaders attended a two-day event in Richmond earlier this week for the GPSC’s Summit: Moving Forward Together.
Attendees included physicians and staff from Divisions of Family Practice, and representatives from the GPSC, Doctors of BC, Ministry of Health, and health authorities. As partners in the A GP for Me initiative, they celebrated their collective achievements and discussed their shared learnings. Read more >
The Burnaby Division of Family Practice has created a series of videos to promote the city to doctors who may be interested in practising in the area. Video participants include international medical graduate Dr Karendeep Gill, Burnaby GPs Dr John Rideout and Dr Lindsay McCaffrey, and GPSC Co-Chair Dr Shelley Ross. >
As part of its work to support retiring physicians, the Vancouver Division of Family Practice has developed a new How to Retire Guide. The 52-page booklet provides guidance for doctors at any stage of retirement planning, from starting a plan, to finding a replacement doctor, to closing a practice. >
The GPSC made two operational changes to improve linkages with local and regional collaborative tables, and provide more flexibility to support turning provincial policy and strategy into action. >
To support understanding of upcoming changes to GPSC incentives that go in to effect October 1, 2017, two webinars will be held in July. >