In the News

  • Global News: Vancouver is getting a second Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC), this time in East Vancouver. The NDP government promised to implement UPCCs as a part of its 2017 election campaign. The facilities are intended to take stress off of hospital ERs while providing patients with same-day access to doctors and nurses. The newest facility, located at 1145 Commercial Drive where it will partner with the REACH Community Health Centre, will be the ninth in the province.

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  • Vancouver Courier: East Vancouver residents will soon have a new place to go when they need medical attention. The provincial government Wednesday announced the opening of the REACH Urgent and Primary Care Centre on Commercial Drive. “The Reach centre will help connect more people in East Vancouver and the surrounding communities with the health care they need, when they need it,” Premier John Horgan said in a press release. “For people who have been struggling to access health care services, this will make a big difference in their lives.”

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  • TriCity News: The BC Coroners Service says there is room for optimism in efforts to curb opioid deaths in B.C. But fatalities from illicit drugs in Coquitlam appear to be on par with last year, according to the latest statistics. In a report issued Thursday, it was noted that for the entire province, the monthly average for illicit drug deaths for the first five months of 2019 is down by a third from the same period last year, or 92 deaths per month, compared to 130 per month in 2018

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  • Global News: An Oliver town councillor says lives could be lost if the province doesn’t address the staffing shortages plaguing the emergency department at South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH). During a committee of the whole meeting on Monday, mayor and town council decided to raise the issue with B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

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  • TriCity News: The doctor is in when it comes to finding resources for some of life’s challenging issues. This week the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice Society has launched an online directory that provides links and resources to obtain low and no cost community services.

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  • Times Colonist: Sooke family doctor Anton Rabien thrives on tracing the first symptom of disease in a patient to a possible diagnosis. You have to know your patient and be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes to know when persistent abdominal pain is likely an ulcer and when it might be pancreatic cancer.

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  • Burnaby Now: Some hip restaurants give you a view of the kitchen action while you sit at your table. In most establishments, we can only imagine what is going on “back of house.”

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  • Times Colonist: This story is part of an ongoing look at the challenges facing the health-care system in Greater Victoria and B.C. Future stories will look at possible solutions, things that are working well, and the B.C. government’s ongoing efforts to reform primary health care.  The B.C. government is working on multiple fronts to improve people’s access to family doctors and fix what patients and physicians in Greater Victoria are calling a “crisis,” Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

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  • Times Colonist: The provincial government is using a three-pronged strategy in its approach to team-based health care — establishing primary care networks, opening urgent primary care centres, and expanding the number of non-profit community health centres. Here’s a bit about how the three elements work.

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  • Chemainus Valley Courier: Following are the scholarship and bursary recipients from the Chemainus Secondary School graduating class of 2019:

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  • CHEK News: The government health-care announcements seem to come one after the other yet long lineups remain outside walk-in clinics across Greater Victoria. B.C.’s health minister admits there are no quick fixes but help is on its way. “The primary care question for me as the Minister of Health is the most important question to address,” said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. The government is in the process of hiring 200 new general practitioners and 200 nurse practitioners over the next three years.

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  • CFJC Today: If you called the primary care clinic recently, chances are you got a voicemail saying you shouldn’t expect to get an appointment with a nurse practitioner any time soon. Touted only a couple of years ago as the answer to the shortage of family doctors, nurse practitioners themselves are now, apparently, themselves in short supply. There doesn’t seem to be a good answer to why that is, except that nurse practitioners like to move around and get experience in various places.

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  • Times Colonist: Until recently, Barbara Pedrick never had to worry about finding a doctor. For nearly 40 years, she saw the same family physician in James Bay. He helped her through cancer treatment and recovery, performed regular checkups and kept track of her lab tests and medical records.

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  • CFJC Today: Kevin Roode appreciates having someone like Dr. Chip Bantock. Before moving back to Sun Peaks, he struggled to find a family doctor in Kamloops. “I had to go to either an urgent care clinic because a doctor wasn’t available,” said Roode. “No doctors were taking new patients. I would have to go to the ER at Royal Inland Hospital.”

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  • Vernon Morning Star: If you take a look in your medicine cabinet, chances are you’ll find medications that are expired or no longer needed. Expired medications can be ineffective or even toxic. There is the risk of accidental ingestion by kids or someone in the home accessing them that shouldn’t. According to a Health Canada Survey, more than seven per cent of students in grades 7-12 in B.C. admitted to abusing prescription drugs. These medications are often taken from a medicine cabinet – either in their own home or from that of a friend or relative.

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  • The Squamish Chief: A Victoria doctor who until recently served as the Sea to Sky Corridor's only local obstetrician-gynaecologist is hopeful that a plan to make sexual assault forensic exams more accessible in the corridor will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

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  • Castanet.net: If you have bottles of unused medications gathering dust in your medicine cabinet, it would be wise to turn them in. The Canadian Mental Health Association is partnering with the Division of Family Practice to support Vernon’s Unused Medications Return Program in July, and they will also have a booth at Sunshine Festival on Saturday.

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  • TriCity News: A family physician with deep roots in the Tri-Cities is looking forward to her role as the president of the Doctors of BC. Kathleen Ross took on the job June 1 and will be working towards improving access to primary care for B.C. patients at the same time she continues working at her Coquitlam and New Westminster offices.

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  • CKPG.ca: The second Urgent Primary Care Centre (UPCC) in the North opened Wednesday here in Prince George. The centre provides the public with same day access to urgent and primary care. It will offer after-hours care in the

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  • PG Citizen: A drop-in health care centre aimed largely at people without family doctors is up and operating. Located at Parkwood Mall, doors to the Prince George Urgent and Primary Care Centre opened on Tuesday afternoon.

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  • The Daily Courier: Kelowna West MLA Ben Stewart talked health care with members of the Westside Health Network Society at their annual general meeting last Friday. Stewart said he was surprised while out talking to people during last year’s byelection campaign to hear people asking about what was happening with the urgent-care facility on the Westside.
     

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  • The Daily Courier: What began as a five-week pilot project to gauge demand for no-barrier mental health services has evolved into a permanent walk-in-wellness clinic on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

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  • Vernon Morning Star: In the midst of what is being called a “public health epidemic,” $40 million is being dedicated to upgrade First Nations treatment centres throughout B.C. It is hoped the money, provided equally by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the provincial government will revitalize First Nations-run treatment centres.
     

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  • CKPG.ca: Doctors of BC and The Prince George Division of Family Practice are inviting residents to get their daily dose of physical activity, by joining them for the 3rd annual Walk with your Doc this Sunday, June 2nd at Masich Place Stadium from 1:00-2:30 pm. This is a provincial wide event to encourage patients to adopt active lifestyles.

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  • Burnaby Now: May has been a month for moving. The warmer, drier weather has awakened many of us from a sedentary slumber. Our local tracks and parks - abandoned during our rainy season (i.e. the rest of the year) - are now well used from morning to early evening by walkers of every age and speed.

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  • Kingston Whig-Standard: Vancouver Coastal Health is being criticized for waving “profit-motivated” corporate partners through the door to manage an urgent and primary care health clinic in downtown Vancouver funded by taxpayers. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says it welcomes the idea of the clinics established by the province — where doctors, nurses and other health professionals work as a team — but says they should be run on a not-for-profit basis with community oversight or governance.

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  • Prince George Citizen: A Prince George doctor has been named the B.C. Family Physician of the Year. Along with helping patients on a day-to-day basis, Dr. Catherine Textor as also been working extensively behind the scenes to improve health care in Prince George, according to the B.C. College of Family Physicians.

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  • CPKGToday.ca: Dr. Catherine Texter is a family physician in Prince George, the Physician Lead for the Division of Family Practice and now has been named the BC Family Physician of the Year. The kudos comes from the BC College of Family Physicians. “I was overwhelmed when I got the news that I had been nominated and won this award,” she says. “I feel like there’s so many other family physicians, for sure, in our community and, I’m sure, across the province that would be equally deserving.”

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  • Kamloops This Week: Sunday, May 19, is BC Family Doctor Day, a day set aside to salute the province’s 6,000 family doctors. As part of the annual celebration, the BC College of Family Physicians has announced award recipients for 2019 — and a Kamloops doctor is among physicians receiving kudos.

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  • Alaska Highway News: Good health is the foundation of a good life. We trust doctors and health-care professionals to help us get well and be well. And we rest easier knowing that if our loved ones are sick, someone is there to care for them. Every person deserves to know that public health care is there, when and where they need it.

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  • Georgia Straight: B.C.'s minister of mental health and addictions, Judy Darcy, issued the following statement today: "Mental Health Week is a unique opportunity for government, communities and British Columbians to commit to having courageous conversations and to build public awareness of the effects of mental health and addictions challenges.

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  • InfoNews: The province's recent announcement of funding for up to 22 new health care providers in the South Okanagan and Similkameen is good news for those struggling to find a family doctor. Health Minister Adrian Dix made the announcement prior to the official opening of Penticton’s new hospital tower earlier this month. Six new doctors, five new nurse practitioners and 11 other health care providers, which includes registered nurses, social workers and pharmacists, will be paid for with an additional $4.4 million per year in funding over the next three years.

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  • Osoyoos Times: In an effort to increase the amount of people locally who know how to administer naloxone, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice is hosting a free training event in Osoyoos on May 6. Community paramedics, RCMP, and community nurses will teach participants how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose, as well as administer naloxone.

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  • Times Colonist: A medical clinic with team-based care in Sooke is being expanded, with five additional doctors and nurses funded by the province. B.C. Premier John Horgan announced Friday more than $1 million annually to support two new family doctors, one new nurse practitioner and two new registered nurses at West Coast Family Medical Clinic, "to take up the 4,000 patients that are not attached to a health-care provider today in Sooke."

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  • CTV News: B.C.'s premier and health minister will be making an announcement on "improved primary care services" in the Sooke region this afternoon. The district's mayor has long advocated for bolstered supports. In a March 2017 interview with CTV Vancouver Island, Maja Tait talked about the challenges facing the community - which included lengthy wait lists at its sole medical clinic. At the time, she said she felt it was time people shouldn't have to travel so far for many healthcare services

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  • Castanet: Nearly 1,500 people died as a result of drug overdose in B.C. last year, and while the majority of those deaths came in larger population centres, rural B.C. has not been immune to the crisis. The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice and the SOS Rural Healthcare Community Coalition is offering a series of free naloxone training events in the South Okanagan’s smaller communities.

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  • Richmond News: Three health care networks will be created in Richmond – in the city centre, in west Richmond and in east Richmond. Adrian Dix, the provincial minister of health, was in Richmond Thursday morning to announce the creation of three “primary-care networks.”

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  • Ministry of Health: Government is transforming everyday health care for people living in Richmond by establishing three primary care networks (PCNs), which will bring additional health-care resources and support to the region.

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  • CKPGToday.ca: People in Prince George may soon have better access to team-based everyday health care, with the new Prince George Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) anticipated to open in June 2019. There will also be a launch of a primary-care network (PCN).  

    “This primary-care network and urgent primary-care centre will connect people in Prince George with better, faster health care,” Premier John Horgan says. “With more than 30 new health-care professionals joining the community to deliver team-based care, people will benefit from greater access to health care, helping them lead healthier lives.”

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  • Prince George Citizen: A healthcare centre devoted to providing urgent and primary care to people without family doctors will be opened in Parkwood Mall in June, Premier John Horgan said Wednesday. The second of its type to be established in northern B.C., the centre is similar to an after-hours walk-in clinic for people who need help but do not need to go to the emergency room.

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  • Energeticcity.ca: A new three-year agreement between the government and Physicians in B.C. will shift to team-based care and better access to health care for people. Meeting the government’s Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate for bargaining, this shift will reflect the desires and commitment of all the parties to work within that mandate shared the government.

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  • Burnaby Now: In the office of my family practice, hidden from the view of patients, is a sign along the edge of the counter for my staff to see each day. It reads: “Treat every patient like family.” It’s at the heart of our daily work: to give every individual the care and consideration we would want for a best friend or family member.

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  • The Daily Courier: South Okanagan residents can expect to receive better accessible health care in the coming three years, including a new care clinic, Minister for Health Adrian Dix announced Friday. Twenty-two health-care professionals will descend upon Penticton and Summerland as a part of the newly established Primary Care Network.

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  • InfoNews.ca: A new primary care network is being created in the South Okanagan Similkameen to improve resident’s access to primary health care. B.C. provincial health minister Adrian Dix made the announcement this morning, April 12, at Penticton Regional Hospital where it was announced up to 22 new health care providers will be recruited to work in the region’s primary care network over the next three years. 
     

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  • Global News: Six new doctors will be recruited to work in the South Okanagan and Similkameen over the next three years, the provincial government announced Friday morning. The six general practitioners will be part of an effort to hire 22 healthcare providers, including five nurse practitioners and 11 healthcare professionals — nurses, social workers and a pharmacist.
     

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  • Global News: The Town of Oliver says it will pitch in funds to house temporary doctors near South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH) to address staffing issues plaguing the emergency department.

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  • Global News: Statistics show that how long you are likely to wait for a long-term care bed depends heavily on where in the province you live. Seniors in the interior are at a disadvantage compared to those in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. It’s a problem the province’s seniors advocate believes could be tackled by better planning.

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  • CHEK: A downtown Victoria medical clinic is set to close, adding to a doctor crunch that will leave some vulnerable patients in the lurch. As Kori Sidaway tells us, the doctors are hoping for funding so they can keep their doors open.

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  • Times Colonist: An urgent primary-care centre being built in Nanaimo will open in June, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Wednesday. “I’m really fired up to be here,” said Dix at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. “I’m very excited about this day.”
     

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  • CTV News: A new urgent and primary care clinic is coming to Nanaimo, the province announced Wednesday. Health minister Adrian Dix, Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson and Island Health officials made the announcement at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. The new facility will be installed on South Terminal Avenue in the Port Place mall, and will expand the existing Medical Arts Centre clinic.

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  • CTV News: A letter sent to Esquimalt council by the South Island Division of Family Practice calls the need for primary care services in the community “immediate.” The recent closure of one of two medical clinics due to retirement, and the relocation of a family doctor leaves just one full-time family physician and one part-time physician in the community of roughly 18,000 people.

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  • Quesnel Cariboo Observer: A Quesnel doctor has created a website to help deal with something she sees as a huge problem: chronic pain. General practitioner Dr. Judy Dercksen identified an opportunity to help patients by creating a comprehensive pain management website called painimprovement.com.

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  • Oliver Chronicle: The South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH) emergency department will continue to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, says Interior Health. Beginning March 29 (tonight), a physician will be “called” into the SOGH emergency department during the evening (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) to respond to emergencies, rather than remaining on location for an entire shift.

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  • Oliver Chronicle: Town council has appointed Mayor Martin Johansen to represent the community on the Oliver/Osoyoos Primary Care Network Planning Committee. The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has extended an invitation to mayors from both Oliver and Osoyoos to participate.

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  • Burnaby Now: The number of occupational therapists in Burnaby isn’t enough to properly staff the primary-care networks announced last week by B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. Burnaby will have new team-based PCNs set up in the communities of Brentwood-Hastings, Edmonds and Metrotown, with a fourth PCN set to open in the Lougheed area in the future. The initiative will recruit approximately 68 new health-care providers over the next three years to meet demand. This includes 10 general practitioners, 10 new nurse practitioners, three clinical pharmacists and 45 nursing and allied health-care professionals.
     

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  • Vernon Morning Star: Over the past year, educational programs and resources have been popping up around Vernon to support the local LGBTQ/2S+ community. Many of these programs have stemmed from a recent four-part initiative through the Family Resource Centre, thanks to funding received from Trans Care B.C. and the Shuswap-North Okanagan Division of Family Practice.
     

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  • CBC: A Vancouver doctor says the tentative agreement British Columbia recently reached with the province's 13,000 doctors doesn't do enough to change family medicine and address what she describes as a crisis in primary care. Dr. Rita McCracken, a physician and University of British Columbia researcher, says the agreement doesn't include newer ways for doctors to work and get paid. 
     

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  • CTV News: B.C.'s health minister has announced the establishment of three new primary care networks and one new urgent primary care centre for Burnaby. The new urgent care centre at 7315 Edmonds St. will offer a range of primary care needs, and extended hours in the evening and on weekends. In a second phase opening, the centre will have an incubator clinic, Adrian Dix said Thursday.

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  • Burnaby Now: Some of the estimated 40,000 Burnaby residents who can’t find a family doctor could soon find easier access after the province announced it was setting up team-based networks designed to link patients with health services.B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix was in Burnaby this morning (Thursday) along with Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan to announce the launch of three new “primary care networks” and one “urgent primary care centre.”

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  • Ministry of Health: Government is transforming everyday health care for people living in Fraser northwest communities by establishing four networks of team-based primary-care providers, which will bring additional resources and strengthened support to the region. Over the next three years, across the four networks in the Fraser northwest region, up to 65 new health-care providers will be recruited. This includes 12 new doctors, 12 new nurse practitioners and 41 additional health-care professionals ranging from registered nurses, to allied health-care professionals and clinical pharmacists.

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  • Global News: B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix is promising to hire 68 new health care workers, including 10 general practitioners and 10 nurse practitioners in Burnaby, as it rolls out its new health care strategy.
    The workers, who will be recruited over the next three years, will work in a newly-announced urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) and three new primary care networks (PCN).

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  • Castanet.net: When Penticton city council was sworn into office four months ago, they were given a chance to direct city staff to embark on new priorities and projects based on the 2018 election. Of these pet projects to be made public so far — we’ve seen Mayor John Vassilaki’s failed attempt to have the one dollar utility paper billing fee scrapped and Coun. Katie Robinson try to raise speed limits downtown.

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  • Castanet.net: The towns of Oliver and Osoyoos have long been asking how they can support the delivering of healthcare at the Oliver hospital. They now have an answer. The South Okanagan Division of Family Practice and Interior Health have written to the municipalities asking for help securing housing for locum doctors at South Okanagan General Hospital.

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  • CTV News: A first-of-its kind clinic in the Fraser Valley is promising to give Indigenous people access to culturally safe and holistic care.

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  • Voiceonline.com: Seniors in the Vancouver Coastal Health region are benefiting from an investment of over $9.1 million in 2018-19 to increase staffing levels and ensure that seniors get the care they need in residential care homes.

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  • Global News: The B.C. government is taking control of the employee contracts in privately-run home support services and rolling them back into Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Island Health, a move that is drawing sharp criticism from the BC Care Providers Association.

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  • Castanet: West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom believes the province is close to deciding where an urgent care centre will be located in the Central Okanagan. He made that pronouncement after a meeting last week with Health Minister Adrian Dix in Victoria. "I get a sense they are pretty close to making a decision," Milsom told Castanet. Milsom, who took office in November, spent a few days in the provincial capital getting to know key ministers.

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  • Castanet.net: Expired medications can become either ineffective or toxic and people are being encouraged to properly dispose of those meds. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon & District Branch has partnered with the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, Interior Health and local pharmacies to raise awareness of this issue and support Vernon’s Medication Return Project.
     

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  • Burnaby Now: Are you aware of your habits and their importance to your health and happiness? Most of us recognize at least some of our bad habits. If you don’t, someone you live with certainly will. These include those that are harmful to our health, such as smoking, snacking on junk food or staying up too late.
     

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  • Vernon Morning Star: Whether it’s pain medication for an old injury that has since healed, those antibiotics that you forgot to finish taking, or medications you wanted for your vacation two years ago, expired medications can become either ineffective or toxic. Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon and District Branch, has partnered with the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, Interior Health and local pharmacies to raise awareness of this issue and support Vernon’s Medication Return Project.

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  • Trail Times: After upwards of five years pursuing an undergraduate degree and four years of medical school, about a dozen UBC graduates will get the crushing news this year they didn’t land a residency. Being trained under a residency program is the next step in becoming a practicing doctor in Canada.

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  • CFJC Today: With the average life expectancy increasing in Canada, more seniors are in need of long-term residential care. But, with a shortage of staffing for seniors care in B.C., it has become a struggle to ensure everyone gets the care they deserve. "Sometimes you just get scared, you know, because it's like, have I paid enough attention to this lady? Have I spent enough time with this man? You don't get to spend that time."

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  • Alaska Highway News: Good health is the foundation for a good life. But for too long, too many B.C. patients have been struggling to access the services they need. People can’t find a family doctor, are waiting too long for surgeries and diagnostics, and worry about caring for their aging loved ones.

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  • Times Colonist: B.C. ombudsperson Jay Chalke is calling on the B.C. government and health authorities to act on recommendations for improving seniors care made seven years ago, saying he’s “dismayed and discouraged” by the lack of action.

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  • Global News: In an announcement Sunday afternoon, the B.C. government says the Fraser Northwest region is getting 65 more health-care workers over the next three years. That includes 12 doctors, 12 nurses, and 41 additional health care professionals ranging from registered nurses to clinical pharmacists. The new staff will service a primary care network (PCN) spread across patients in Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, Kwikwetlem First Nation, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Qayqayt First Nation.

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  • The Globe & Mail: As commercial property values and lease rates across Greater Vancouver continue to soar, mom-and-pop restaurants and small boutiques aren’t the only ones feeling squeezed. Family doctors say they are struggling to keep their offices open, with some already pushed out.

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  • Trail Times: B.C.’s health care budget has the biggest numbers of any provincial government function, but for seniors in residential care, the most important numbers are the small ones. A key one is, do they get one bath per week, or two?

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  • Times Colonist: Senior citizen Pat Gordon says frustration over an hours-long wait for a prescription refill at the new Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre caused her blood pressure to skyrocket. “It’s really bad — there’s not enough doctors, there’s not enough staff,” said Gordon, who waited 41/2 hours to get a prescription for drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular thyroid. “When I finally got to see the doctor, my blood pressure was so high, he was really nervous about me,” said Gordon, speaking to Island Health’s board of directors at its public forum in Colwood on Thursday.

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  • North Shore News: Dear Editor: Re: Rising Commercial Assessments a Threat to North Shore Businesses; Only Banks and Doctors Will be Left, Councillor Warns (Jan. 11 news story). As the chair of the North Shore Division of Family Practice I would like to highlight the concerns of rising commercial real estate and leasing costs and how they are affecting small business owners and our community. Contrary to what the headline suggests, family physicians on the North Shore have been greatly affected by rising lease rates. Doctors of B.C. data shows that the average general practitioner spends roughly 40 per cent of their income on office overhead costs.

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  • Times Colonist: Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins says a doctor shortage in her township and neighbouring Vic West constitutes a medical “crisis” that requires urgent attention. The closing of the Esquimalt Treatment Centre last year and the loss of the Westside Integrated Health Centre in Vic West in 2015 left the region with just a single walk-in clinic, at Esquimalt Plaza.

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  • Times Colonist: Esquimalt is far from alone in dealing with a critical shortage of family doctors, says the president of Doctors of B.C. Dr. Eric Cadesky said communities across the province are struggling with issues similar to those highlighted by Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, who says her community is facing a “medical crisis.”

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  • Delta Optimist: Seniors in several Delta residential care homes will soon see benefits with increased staffing levels and care thanks to a provincial funding announcement. On Tuesday, B.C. health minister Adrian Dix announced that $12.8 million in 2018/19 funding will be provided to residential care homes in Delta, Langley and Surrey.

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  • Vernon Morning Star: Keeping frail seniors at home has been a priority of B.C. health ministers for years, but delivery of home care and day activity programs to support that declined in 2018, B.C.’s Seniors Advocate says. The number of seniors receiving home support services decreased by 1.4 per cent, despite a four per cent increase in the B.C. population over 65 and a five per cent increase in those over 85, according to the latest senior services monitoring report, released Wednesday.

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  • Global News: Health Minister Adrian Dix says he’ll have more to say “soon” about a second hospital for Surrey. Dix was asked at a news conference Tuesday about the status of a second hospital for Surrey, originally announced in December 2017.

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  • Tri-City News: A drop in the number of illicit drug overdose deaths in Coquitlam last year is good news but more work is needed to end the opioid health care crisis in B.C., says a Fraser Health medical health officer who is responsible for the Tri-Cities. This year, a community action plan is being developed with a $75,000 provincial grant to try to further reduce the number of opioid deaths in the Tri-Cities.

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  • Castanet.net: The clinic manager of Peachland’s only medical clinic fears for some of its patients if a new owner can’t be found soon. Beach Avenue Medical Clinic is scheduled to close on March 31 unless it finds someone to replace outgoing owner and medical director Dr. John Brinkerhoff, who is retiring.

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  • Global News: The community of Peachland is facing a doctor shortage crisis. “I’m very concerned,” Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin said. “This is really serious business.” The community of roughly 5,500 people, many of them seniors, may lose its only medical clinic. The owner and medical director of the Beach Avenue Medical Clinic is retiring at the end of March and has been unable to find a new owner to take over the practice.

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  • Castanet.net: One of two doctors in Okanagan Falls has told patients he is retiring this spring and no replacement for him has been found. Dr. Jamie Robertson will be retiring from the Okanagan Falls medical clinic at the end of March after four decades in the community. A search is underway for a replacement, but Robertson has advised his patients to consider looking into clinics in Penticton or Oliver.

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  • Global News: There is no replacement for a retiring family physician in Okanagan Falls, leaving many patients in the small South Okanagan town scrambling to find another doctor by this spring. In a letter to patients, Dr. James Robertson said he is closing his family practice on Mar. 31 to retire after 40 years on the job, but he has not been able to find a replacement.

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  • Bowen Island Undercurrent: During our social rounds this holiday season, members of the Bowen Island Health Centre Foundation board were pleased to hear many strong expressions of support for the new health centre. At the same time, we also heard some basic “nuts and bolts” questions about the centre. We thought it would be helpful to address a few of these as we look forward to a very active 2019.

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  • Delta Optimist: The Delta Child and Youth Committee (CYC) held a well-attended information fair at Harris Barn in Ladner last month. Elected officials including Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, Delta South MLA Ian Paton, Delta councillors Dan Copeland, Dylan Kruger, school board trustees Val Windsor and Jessie Dosanjh, and board chair Laura Dixon. Also present were staff from community agencies and Delta police.

    Read the story>
  • Delta Optimist: It’s been frustrating for many having to wait in clinics or know they’re about to as they see their family physicians retire, but more doctors have been recruited to work in Delta. Delta Division of Family Practice executive director Geri McGrath said that in addition to seven physicians recruited this past March, an additional six new physicians have also been recruited this year.

    Read the story>
  • Times Colonist: The year 2018 was my first full year serving as Island Health’s board chair and included the appointment of our new president and CEO Kathy MacNeil. We are both drawn to Island Health’s vision of providing excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time. The focus on “health and care” is critical.

    Read the story>
  • Delta Optimist: A long-term expansion of the KinVillage seniors housing complex in Tsawwassen has passed another hurdle. At the final Delta council meeting of 2018, civic politicians gave preliminary approval to an ambitious redevelopment proposal and forwarded it to a public hearing sometime in early 2019.
     

    Read the story>
  • Trail Times: If you want to have a voice in the future of health care in the Kootenay Boundary and like to volunteer, then a newly-formed advisory committee might be the right fit for you. This opportunity is not a grievance forum. Rather, it’s a chance to support change to health care services in the area, which envelopes about 80,000 people living from Nakusp to Nelson and Castlegar to Greater Trail, as well as Grand Forks and the Kettle Valley.

    Read the story>
  • Bowen Island Undercurrent: You don’t have to travel far from Bowen to see how an island community can bring health care close to home. In June 2012, Gabriola Island opened the doors of a new health care facility. It has radically improved health care access for their community. It also serves as an inspirational and instructive case study as we move forward with our own health care centre here on Bowen.

    Read the story>
  • Coast Reporter: Results of a survey by Doctors of BC, the umbrella group representing doctors in the province, suggests doctors on the Sunshine Coast are much less satisfied with their working relationship with Vancouver Coastal Health than their colleagues in other areas. Doctors of BC has conducted a Health Authority Engagement Survey for the past three years “to seek members’ views regarding their level of engagement and interaction with health authorities.”

    Read the story>
  • CFJC Today: In just a couple of weeks, the Summit Medical Clinic will be closing its doors for good — and one clinic director in Kamloops is voicing concerns about what that means for the community. Dec. 15 is the day one of the only two walk-in clinics in Sahali will be closing. Dozens of patients are seen at the Summit Drive walk-in every day, with lines to secure an appointment forming early in the morning.

    Read the story>
  • Burnaby Now: You don’t have to travel far from Bowen to see how an island community can bring health care close to home. In June 2012, Gabriola Island opened the doors of a new health care facility. It has radically improved health care access for their community. It also serves as an inspirational and instructive case study as we move forward with our own health care centre here on Bowen.

    Read full story>
  • CBC: British Columbia's health minister has announced the opening of the province's fifth urgent primary care centre in order to lessen demand on emergency departments. Adrian Dix said the facility opening in downtown Vancouver on Monday will provide treatment on evenings and weekends for non-life-threatening conditions.
     

    Read the story>
  • Revelstoke Moutaineer: “Exciting” is not usually a word one would associate with health care. But that is exactly how Katherine Brown, Revelstoke’s new Health Care Development Project Manager, describes what’s happening in the community as a result of several health care programs that have recently launched or are poised to launch in the near future.

    Read the story>
  • Castanet.net: The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has launched a new web tool to connect expectant mothers in Penticton and the surrounding area with the right type of maternity care.

    Read the story>
  • Burnaby Now: What determines your health and happiness? We know that it is much more than timely access to a good health-care system. In the 2009 report of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Health, only 25 per cent of the health of the population was attributable to the health-care system - 15 per cent was due to individual biology (i.e. genetics) and 10 per cent to environmental factors.
     

    Read the story>
  • My Prince George Now: A Prince George physician was taken aback by an award he recently received. Garry Knoll, Chair of the Prince George Division of Family Practice, was awarded the Quality Trailblazer Award by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council.
     

    Read the story>
  • CTV News: Doctors at over 300 walk-in clinics in British Columbia want fair payment for their work compared with those in full family practice, says the head of an association that's rallying its members to increase access and profits through innovative technology. Mike McLoughlin, founding director of the Walk-In Clinics of BC Association, said the facilities fill a gap for patients who can't get a family physician or same-day appointments and should be considered an important part of reforming primary care.
     

    Read the story>
  • Times Colonist: Doctors at more than 300 walk-in clinics in B.C. want fair payment for their work compared with those in full family practice, says the head of an association that’s rallying its members to increase access and profits through innovative technology.

    Read the story>
  • CTV Vancouver Island: There was confusion on opening day of a new urgent primary care facility on the West Shore Monday morning. More than a dozen people waited in line before the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre opened its doors for the first time at 8 a.m. But some of those people were frustrated to learn that they would not be able to find a new family doctor at the centre – at least for now.

     

    Read the story>
  • Global News: The provincial government has unveiled a new Surrey Urgent Primary Care Centre in order for patients to get same-day access to health care professionals. The primary care centre is part of a province-wide blitz the new government is making as part of an overhaul of the way health care is delivered in B.C.

    Read the story>
  • Times Colonist: Health Minister Adrian Dix has announced the opening of a new urgent primary care centre in Langford. The facility will provide 5,300 residents access to a family doctor once it gets up and running. Dix plans to open 10 of these clinics across the province by next spring. One is already operating in Quesnel.

    Read story here>
  • Castanet.net: Summerland residents who lost their family doctor with the retirement last year of Dr. Martine Lebel now have a solution. The SOS Division of Family Practice announced Monday that former patients of Lebel's that have not already found a new family doctor in Summerland, Peachland or Penticton can have their medical records transferred to Dr. Murali Venkataraman at the Kelly Avenue Clinic.

    Read the story>
  • CHEK: On Friday, Premier John Horgan announced a new urgent primary care centre in Langford to try to close the doctor shortage gap on the West Shore. It will be run similar to a walk-in clinic where you don’t make appointments or see the same doctor but B.C.’s Health Minister insists it will help thousands find the care they need.

    Read the story>
  • BC Government: The Government of British Columbia is opening a new urgent primary care centre for West Shore communities to better connect local residents with the primary health care they need. In making the announcement, Premier John Horgan said launching the West Shore centre is important for local communities, as almost one-in-five residents do not have a family health-care provider. Over time, it will attach approximately 5,300 people to health-care providers for their ongoing health needs, plus offer care on an urgent basis to people who already have care providers.

    Read the story>
  • Times Colonist: A new, expanded version of a walk-in medical clinic was announced Friday in Langford as part of the provincial government’s strategy to deliver primary health care to more citizens. Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix stood outside a building at 582 Goldstream Ave. — 7.8 kilometres from Victoria General Hospital — to announce the opening of the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre.

    Read the story>
  • Campbell River Mirror: When a routine screening test for colon cancer found blood in her sample earlier this year, Sherilyn Redekopp, of Campbell River, wasn’t too worried. She’d had friends have similar results of their FIT (fecal immunochemical test) and their colonoscopies came back clear. She had been feeling great, with no symptoms. So she prepped for the colonoscopy with no worry or concern.

    Read the story>
  • Vernon Morning Star: Wellness is a state comprised of many factors. And each one of them is being taken into account at the new Salmon Arm Seniors Health and Wellness Centre near Marine Park. This is a place where area seniors living with chronic conditions can go to have all their health concerns supported in a collaborative team approach – with a focus on health and wellness.

    Read the story>
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada and College of Family Physicians of Canada: Today, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) launched the Best Advice guide: Recovery-Oriented Mental Health and Addiction Care in the Patient’s Medical Home at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 3rd annual Mental Health for All (MH4A) Conference.

    Read the story>
  • Times Colonist: Re: “Support team could help with physician shortage,” comment, Sept. 16. In the past 10 years, the B.C. government has developed initiatives around patient-centred care, highlighting this as a key priority in health care.

    Read the story>
  • Trail Times: Moms and soon-to-be moms in the South Cariboo are extremely frustrated with the lack of prenatal care in the region. Ashley Caines is just one such mom, who’s currently about 17 weeks pregnant with her second child.

    Read the story>
  • CFJC Today: The Thompson Region Division of Family Practice says more work needs to be done to deliver primary care to local residents. Rhonda Eden with the family practice division says in a news release that the expansion of Kamloops's urgent primary care centre at Royal Inland Hospital is great news for local patients, but there are still steps that need to be taken toward optimal healthcare delivery.

    Read the story>
  • Prince George Citizen: Northern B.C.'s first urgent primary care centre will soon be up and running in Quesnel. To be housed at the G.R. Baker Hospital in the community of 8,718 people 116 kilometres south of Prince George, it will accept its first patients on Oct. 31, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Wednesday.

    Read the story>
  • Global News: A new feasibility study delves into the question of whether the town of Osoyoos needs, and can support, a community health centre. Commission by the town, the study is 112 pages and examines several topics, such as approach and methodology, health care funding, objectives, the area’s population, space requirements and potential site options.

    Read the story>
  • Oosyoos Today: A municipal effort to improve access to health care services in the community now has some options and a timeline. Town of Osoyoos Council this morning received a 112-page report from Colliers Project Leaders — engaged by the Town to determine the feasibility of developing and operating a health services centre — that provides three preferred locations and suggests the facility could be operational by June 2020.

    Read the story>
  • Vernon Morning Star: More than 800 part-time care aides are moving to full-time by the end of this year, bringing B.C. senior homes closer to the standard of care set by the province a decade ago, Health Minister Adrian Dix says. Dix and Premier John Horgan visited a facility in New Westminster Tuesday to highlight the progress made in one of B.C.’s most intractable health care problems, hiring and retaining enough staff to provide 3.36 hours per day of direct care for frail elderly people in residential care

    Read the story>
  • Global News: The provincial government is committing $240 million to improving care for seniors. The BC NDP says it is spending the money over three years to increase the number of hours of direct care for seniors living in residential care facilities. B.C. Premier John Horgan said that by the end of the three years, more than 1,300 new jobs will be created, including 900 health care aides, 165 registered nurses and a further 300 licensed practical nurses.

    Read the story>
  • Vancouver Courier: What is your approach to health and life in general? Most of us use the R-and-R approach (and neither R stands for rest or relaxation). The first R is our everyday mode: routine. We settle into our daily patterns of doing and thinking. Most of us wake up at the same time each morning, eat the same breakfast and go to school or work along the same route. During the day, we’ll have our usual type of lunch and follow a well-worn pattern of activity.

    Read full story>
  • iNFOnews.ca: The great purge is upon us once again, the annual influenza season that sickens and kills hundreds of Interior Health Authority residents every winter. Public health officials have long since began preparing for the 2018-2019 flu season, monitoring the latest strains as they spread through the fall and into next winter.

    Read full story>
  • Voiceonline.com: The governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed a bilateral agreement outlining how the Province plans to invest its share of targeted federal funding. The agreement represents a shift in how the federal and provincial governments work together to advance shared health priorities, it was announced on Friday.

    Read full story>
  • Global News: Like many other communities in B.C. and Canada, Kelowna has been struggling with a doctor shortage for some time. Local residents Nancy and Reg Butler can relate. The couple moved to Kelowna from Calgary two years ago and have been without a family physician since.

    Read full story>
  • iNFOnews.ca: There are still more than 2,000 Kamloops residents waiting for a primary care provider, but most people on the wait list for a family doctor have been connected. According to the Ministry of Health, nearly 8,200 people on the Health Link B.C. 811 wait list for Kamloops have been attached to a primary care provider. That's up from roughly 5,000 people at the beginning of the year.

    Read full story>
  • Castanet.net: The opening of the Family Practice Learning Centre in Kamloops will not only give residents better access to health care, but also help UBC med students.

    "This is another step in how we are improving access to primary health care in the Thompson Okanagan region immediately, and over the longer term," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "The Family Practice Learning Centre (FPLC) is a first-of-its kind initiative that pairs people without a primary care provider with University of British Columbia (UBC) family medicine residents to receive ongoing team-based care and treatment.

    Read full story>
  • A collaboration between the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation has been instrumental in bringing new doctors to the area. A story on the Union of BC Municipalities website highlights the collaborative approach taken by the partners that has helped attract and retain physicians for the community. 

    Read the story
  • Coast Reporter: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is finalizing plans to open 12 short-stay beds at Sechelt Hospital.

    "These beds in the new unit are intended for patients who are waiting to transition to long-term residential care, which will create more capacity for other patients requiring acute episodic care," the health authority said in a written statement to Coast Reporter.

    Read full story>
  • Alaska Highway News: Northern Health plans to build a new doctor's office at the Fort St. John Medical Clinic.

    The health authority has renovations slated for the clinic's mall, formerly home to a pharmacy, hearing centre, and coffee shop, with a request for proposals having closed this week. It's part of ongoing efforts to provide "turnkey" ready space to meet the region's medical demands and staffing needs, and to bring more community health services under one roof, officials say.

    Read full story>
  • Energeticcity.ca: Fort St. John is among twenty communities in B.C. that will be getting funding from the provincial government's new Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund.

    On Wednesday, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced the funding, which will support regions where local Community Action Teams have been established.

    Read full story>
  • Kelowna Capital News: A new medical clinic in Kelowna and the expansion of another in Lake Country is allowing residents to sign up for a family doctor.

    Turtle Bay Medical Clinic is expanding in Lake Country, taking over empty space in the Turtle Bay Crossing complex. Once completed, the facility will house nine doctors, operations manager Kiffer Walker said. The current space has room for five.

    Read full story>
  • Voiceonline.ca: Every senior in British Columbia deserves the peace of mind that comes with having safe and affordable housing – yet too many can't find the secure, accessible, affordable homes they need.

    Our government is working with community partners to increase the supply of housing and make sure more seniors have good homes they can afford.

    Read full story>
  • Tri-City News: A planned $27.6-million expansion of the Eagle Ridge Hospital emergency department will go ahead despite the shelving last week of plans for selling two parcels of hospital land.

    Monday, Fraser Health confirmed that construction will begin this year on a project that will more than double the capacity of the emergency department, add new isolation rooms for infection-control measures plus two new trauma resuscitation bays.

    Read full story>
  • e-know.ca: Thanks to a partnership between Golden Life Management, Interior Health, and Columbia Basin Trust expanded housing options for Cranbrook and area seniors is a step closer to reality.

    Construction of the new Kootenay Street Village is well under way with an expected opening in summer 2019.

    Read full story>
  • The Free Press: It's the worst-kept secret in Cranbrook.

    Construction has been underway for a new seniors housing facility on Kootenay Street that will add nearly 100 units and beds, through a partnership between Golden Life Management, Columbia Basin Trust and Interior Health.

    Read full story>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • Castanet​: It’s an ongoing issue for many small communities in British Columbia, but residents in Osoyoos are voicing frustration about a lack of doctors in town. Of the eight general practitioners in Osoyoos listed by the BC College of Physicians, none are taking new patients.

    Read the full story>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • Times Colonist​: Access to quality care for seniors in residential and supported living facilities has continued to decline to critical levels, according to a report released Monday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Between 2001 and 2016, access to residential care declined by 32 per cent when measuring beds relative to the population of people 75 and over, said the report. Island Health saw a decline of 25 per cent. In 2001, there were 5,083 publicly funded beds for seniors on the Island. In 2016, that had increased to 5,175, but the population of people age 75 or older in BC increased by 49 per cent.

    Read the full story>
  • Castanet​: The South Okanagan General Hospital’s former chief of staff says he feels he had “no real options” but to resign in protest of a potential six-bed loss at the hospital. Dr. Peter Entwistle recently stepped down from his position as chief of staff at SOGH, citing six beds he says are slated for removal from the hospital, but Interior Health senior staff say that decision hasn’t been made yet. The hospital has 18 beds for acute care, with an extra six beds that are often used for emergencies, but the fate of those beds is currently unknown. Entwistle, who had held the position since 2009, said the hospital has been feeling pressure to drop those six beds.

    Read the full story>
  • Williams Lake Tribune​: Our government is proudly supporting plans to redevelop Cariboo Memorial Hospital, and we have committed to reviewing the concept provided by Interior Health, which represents the next step in making this project a reality.

    Read the full op-ed>
  • Richmond News​: There will be more opportunities for Richmond seniors living at home to mingle with one another, thanks to the creation of 25 new adult daycare spaces at Austin Harris Residence. Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap announced the new spaces, to be funded from a $500 million boost to seniors care in BC — money sorely needed, according to healthcare workers, who have described such care, or lack thereof, to be at a “crisis” level.

    Read the full story>
  • Chilliwack Progress​: Call your family doctor first. That's the first line of attack in a new health education campaign urging everyone to 'Use Your ER Wisely.' “Educating patients about where to go to receive timely and available medical attention not only gives them a better understanding of our health care system, but also helps them feel engaged in their own care," said Dr. Ralph Jones, physician lead, Chilliwack Division of Family Practice. “This leads to patients making healthy and informed choices that improve their overall experience.” 'Use Your ER Wisely' is being rolled out by Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and Fraser Health in partnership with Chilliwack Healthier Community.

    Read the full story>
  • Castanet: A doctor who made waves in the South Okanagan medical community is stepping into the political arena. Dr. Peter Entwistle stepped down earlier this week as the South Okanagan General Hospital’s chief of staff, citing concerns over the number of beds in the hospital. Now he’s running as an independent candidate for the Boundary-Similkameen riding.

    Read the full story>
  • Times Colonist​: Sooke is facing a health-care crisis, says Mayor Maja Tait. She wants the Capital Regional District to explore the possibility of a pilot project to establish a regional health facility in the community. Sooke is only 30 kilometres from Victoria General Hospital but the combination of a challenging highway and limited public transit can make the trip a daunting prospect for people in pain, Tait said.

    Read the full story>
  • Castanet​: The BC Nurses Union is weighing in on the turmoil taking place at the South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver. Earlier this week, chief of staff Dr. Peter Entwistle announced his resignation in protest of a possible loss of six unfunded beds at the hospital. The beds are currently used as a sort of overflow for the other 18 fully funded beds at the facility. Interior Health denies that any decision has been made.

    Read the full story>
  • Cowichan Valley Citizen​: Cowichan Valley provincial independent candidate Ian Morrison and his family became responsible for caring for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s, prior to her death. “Mom certainly wasn’t rich, yet did have enough to afford quality care, with dignity and respect,” Morrison said. “I worry about our elderly residents that don’t have money. Even those fortunate enough to have savings are asking themselves ‘How much is enough?’” Seniors are the fastest growing group in the Cowichan Valley. Morrison wonders if services meet the needs of seniors today, and will they meet future demands as the elderly population grows?

    Read the full story>
  • Osoyoos Times​: She wouldn’t call it a panic situation, but there are deep concerns about healthcare services in Osoyoos and Oliver, says a well-known Osoyoos community activist who has started a petition to address those concerns. Brenda Dorosz, who formed the Save Our School committee last year in an effort to keep Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) from closing and then ran unsuccessfully to win the NDP nomination for Boundary-Similkameen in the upcoming May provincial election, says there’s been very strong community reaction to her petition since she started circulating it last Sunday.

    Read the full story>
  • Global News BC​: A grassroots movement is swelling in the south Okanagan to address the chronic shortage of general practitioners. Breast cancer survivor Yvonne Lewis, who recently moved to Osoyoos, said the doctor shortage in the south Okanagan is a hard pill to swallow.

    Read and watch the full story>
  • Saanich News​: At 97, Murray Edwards is a shining example of why the Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead is important. Edwards uses his left foot to propel his wheelchair along the hallway of the lodge to the library at a rapid clip. “I never thought I’d be here, but now that I am, I’m very thankful for it,” Edwards said. “I give to [Broadmead] still.” A lifelong Canadian Forces instructor and veteran, Edwards began visiting friends at Broadmead in 2002. Soon after his first visits, Edwards and his wife made the decision to donate to the annual campaigns held at Broadmead, which continues to be the primary service provider for residential care and day programs for veterans on the Island, offering subsidized accommodations.

    Read the full story>
  • My Prince George Now: Representatives from walk-in clinics around the province are meeting at a conference this week to discuss BC’s “primary care crisis.” The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) calculates there are currently 300,000 British Columbians seeking a family doctor, 10,000 of whom live in Prince George. Many have to rely on emergency rooms and walk-in clinics for medical service, says Founding Director of the Walk-in Clinics of BC Association Mike McLoughlin.

    Read the full story>
  • Kamloops This Week​: Health Minister Terry Lake has committed another $90 million in the next three years to expand team-based primary health care throughout the province. The financial announcement was made Monday as Lake attended the opening of a new primary care and seniors health centre at Northills Centre on the North Shore.

    Read the full story>
  • Nanaimo News Now​: After watching their spouses wither in a residential care home in Nanaimo, two local seniors are speaking out about their concerns. Geir Larsen's wife Jeannie was admitted to Dufferin Place, run by Island Health, in October 2014 and she passed away in care on July 28, 2016. Larsen said he expected his wife's final years to be as peaceful as possible after years of home care, a place where “it's taken care of, you're shown respect, you're maintained, kept clean, fed. All those things you'd think would be normal, but I slowly started to find out that was not the case.”

    Read the full story>
  • The Globe and Mail​: Opponents of a proposed residential-care facility to be run by a for-profit operator on the Sunshine Coast are gearing up for a public meeting on April 30, saying they aren’t convinced the project is the best way to provide more seniors’ care in their region.

    Read the full story>
  • Castanet​: The province is teetering on the edge of a crisis as the ongoing physician shortage worsens. BC doctors are sounding the alarm, saying walk-in clinics are closing because of it. The Walk-In Clinics of BC Association is launching a petition on Friday to ask the province to train, recruit and fairly compensate more family doctors. It’s also calling on the government to eliminate red tape that prevents GP’s from seeing patients in a timely fashion.

    Read the full story>
  • Kelowna Capital News​: Vernon is being highlighted in a province-wide demand for more family doctors, using the recent closures of walk-in clinics. The city’s original walk-in clinic, Gartree Medical Clinic in the Vernon Square Mall, closed its doors March 24. That follows the March 2016 closure of the Vernon Family Doctors Medical Clinic in the Fruit Union Plaza. While the Sterling Centre Clinic on 25th Avenue opened in 2016, it is only open in the evenings, leaving the North Okanagan Medical Clinic at the Real Canadian Superstore as the only daytime clinic. But Vernon’s troubles are not unique, it is a province-wide trend.

    Read the full story>
  • Surrey Now​: A new petition is calling on the province to recruit more doctors into walk-in clinics and reverse the shortage that’s left thousands of British Columbians without access to a family doctor. The petition, posted on change.org and on the Walk-In Clinics of BC Association website, has aimed for 300,000 signatures – the estimated number of BC residents who don’t have a family doctor, said Mike McLoughlin, the association's director. Since 2010, he said 45 clinics have closed across BC.

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  • CBC News​: With the provincial election little more than a month away, the Walk-in Clinics of BC Association has started a petition calling on the government to make recruiting family doctors a priority. Mike McLoughlin, founding director of the association, is hoping to make the lack of primary care options an election issue. He told CBC's host of The Early Edition Rick Cluff that although there are more doctors registered in BC than ever before, the supply is not keeping up with demand.

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  • Langley Advance​: “As of today, there is no doctor taking new patients in Langley,” said Ellen Peterson, executive director of the Langley Division of Family Practice. Peterson’s department oversaw the two-year A GP for Me campaign, which aimed to connect more people with family doctors in Langley. They successfully “attached” 8,340 people to local doctors. But retaining and recruiting new doctors remains extremely difficult. “What we need is more capacity in primary care,” said Peterson.

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  • CBC News​: Rushed decisions by government and flawed investigations led to harmful consequences for eight Ministry of Health workers who were wrongly dismissed in 2012, a report demanding sweeping changes revealed today. BC Ombudsperson Jay Chalke came to those conclusions after an 18-month investigation into the firings. Chalke is calling on the government to apologize to the workers who "did not deserve the significant personal, financial and professional harm they suffered."

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  • Times Colonist​: BC has 1,000 more doctors doing general-practice work than there were 10 years ago, according to the most recent count from the Health Ministry. And the share of the population that is “attached” to a family doctor, a critical measure of how their primary care is being addressed, has declined only marginally over the past four years, according to the most recent estimate. So why is the doctor shortage such a chronic problem in health care, to the point that it might become one of the election-campaign issues in the weeks ahead?

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  • 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).

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Nanaimo News Now​: Seniors in BC residential care homes aren't getting the attention they deserve, according to a new report. British Columbia's seniors advocate recently released their 2017 directory of facilities, which showed only nine per cent of care homes in the province reach 3.36 hours of daily care per patient. The number is a provincial guideline, though it's not legislatively required.

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  • The Globe and Mail​: For the past two years, Rosemary Dunne has been a primary caregiver for her 82-year-old mother, who has advancing dementia, and it hasn’t been easy. In many ways, her life revolves around her mother: finding time to visit; sending detailed e-mails about her health to family members around the world; documenting her medical history so meticulously that she now has binders full of information. She’s now drawing on that experience as she works with a team in Vancouver developing a mobile app that could offer some relief. CareCrew, which recently won a competition staged by Fraser Health, provides a platform for family members and home-care workers to stay connected when looking after their aging loved ones.

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  • Times Colonist​: Care homes in BC are giving antipsychotic medications to too many seniors who haven't been diagnosed with psychosis, and that may be responsible for aggression and injuries among the elderly, according to the province's seniors advocate. In facilities across the province, an average of 27 per cent of residents are taking antipsychotics without a matching psychiatric diagnosis, according to the newly updated Residential Care Facilities Quick Facts Directory.

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  • InfoTel News, October 23, 2015.

    The primary and community based care centre has been operating at 437 Martin Street since May, but had it's officially opening today, Oct. 23.

    The Outreach Centre is already serving 350 clients, according to Penticton physician Dr. Kyle Stevens, who has played a major role in the centre’s operation since its inception. He  hopes to eventually expand the client base to 1,000.

    The Centre provides primary health care services for people suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues, who can’t or won’t access traditional services. It was formerly located in the Penticton Health Centre but moved to the Martin Street location to allow clients easier access.

    The outreach centre is a collaborative effort between Interior Health and the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, which represents 132 doctors in the region. The centre itself is staffed by five doctors who partner to perform primary health care in the clinic.

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  • Nanaimo News Bulletin, December 9, 2019.

    A medical clinic slated to open at John Barsby Secondary School aims to have services available by January.

    The project committee, which includes representatives from the Nanaimo school district, doctors and nurses, recently secured $200,000 from A GP for Me, a provincial initiative that receives money from the BC government and Doctors of BC, the provincial wing of the Canadian Medical Association.

    According to Dr. Wilma Arruda, a pediatrician and project leader, health nurse and general practitioner, time for Barsby students could be among the first services.

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