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  • Thousands of X-rays and scans read in BC's Interior may have "inaccuracies"

    April 12, 2017

    CBC News​: Another health authority in BC is calling into question the work of a radiologist who was responsible for reading thousands of X-rays and scans over a two-month period. Interior Health says it will be reviewing nearly 2,200 X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and diagnostic mammography reports read by a doctor who was working temporarily in the Kootenay-Boundary region in May of 2011 and June of 2014. Read the full story >

  • 'White Hatter' educates Rupert youth on Internet safety

    April 12, 2017

    Northern View​: Online predators, bullying, harassment, inappropriate material and addiction – these days there’s no shortage of dangers associated with the Internet and the online world for kids and teens to navigate through. But for as many “don’ts” as there are for today’s youth, there are just as many, if not more, cool things that they are doing on the worldwide web — like creating projects, designing artwork, connecting with like-minded people half a world away, starting grassroots initiatives, or just chatting with friends. That’s why Darren, Beth and Brandon Laur, the family trio that make up Personal Protection Systems Inc. or “The White Hatter”, choose to focus not just on the dangers that the Internet can bring, but the exciting opportunities too. Read the full story >

  • “Clinically significant” mistakes: 700 patients' X-rays and scans misread at Terrace hospital

    April 11, 2017

    CBC News​: Northern Health has notified 700 patients and their doctors of "clinically significant" errors in the interpretation of their X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans at the hospital in Terrace. But Northern Health has no plans to monitor or track whether those errors end up harming patients. Read the full story >

  • After 17 years, a North Vancouver private surgery centre declares bankruptcy

    April 11, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: Delbrook Surgical Centre — the only multipurpose, private surgery clinic on the North Shore — has filed for bankruptcy after 17 years in business. John McEown, a representative of Boale, Wood and Co., the insolvency trustee handling the matter, said the clinic, with two operating rooms, was owned by Scottish investors he couldn’t name. He also couldn’t disclose the “significant debt” or amount owed to secured or unsecured creditors like surgeons who operated on patients at Delbrook and haven’t been paid. Read the full story >

  • Sister of Roderick MacIsaac blasts Christy Clark for reaction to health firings report

    April 11, 2017

    CBC News​: Linda Kayfish has released a letter blasting Premier Christy Clark and her response to the BC ombudsperson's report on the 2012 Ministry of Health firings. "Premier Clark has shown the same callous and cynical attitude towards my family for over four years now, and her response to the ombuds report is no different," said Kayfish. Kayfish is the sister of Roderick MacIsaac, one of eight health researchers fired for alleged data breaches. At the time the minister of health raised the spectre of potential criminal conduct by the researchers when she publicly stated the RCMP was investigating, which was not the case. MacIssac took his own life in Dec. 2012. Read the full story >

  • BC election 2017: The campaign begins

    April 10, 2017

    Kamloops This Week​: The three parties represented in the legislature, along with the only BC Communist members running in BC thus far, will vie for the Kamloops seats in the run-up to the May 9 provincial election. Premier Christy Clark is scheduled to call for an election on Tuesday by asking Lieut.-Gov. Judith Guichon to dissolve the legislature and drop the writ, kicking off the official 28-day campaign. During the 2013 election campaign, the Liberals promised LNG development and “a GP for me”— that every British Columbian would have access to a family physician by 2015. Bepple noted they failed to deliver. Read the full story >

  • Nurses to bolster teams

    April 10, 2017

    Castanet​: Kelowna-area doctors are welcoming nurses to their practice teams under a new "nurse-in-practice" initiative. Six family doctors' offices are in the early stages of recruitment through new funding from the province. In addition to nurses in primary care practices, it includes redesigning services to better support people with mental-health and substance-use concerns, a new Seniors Health and Wellness Centre, and targeted recruitment of family physicians. It is expected that at least 3,000 residents who are currently without a family doctor will be attached to a primary care provider through this strategy. The effort is a collaboration between the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, Ministry of Health, Interior Health and Doctors of BC. Read the full story >

  • BC premier responds to health firings report; retired judge to oversee payouts

    April 10, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: Days before the April 11 election call, British Columbia’s premier again apologized for a scandal that saw eight people wrongly fired from the Health Ministry in 2012, including one man who later took his own life. “Government has apologized, and it’s an absolutely sincere expression of regret,” Christy Clark said April 7, describing Roderick MacIsaac’s suicide as a tragedy. The co-op student was dismissed days before his work term ended, and found dead about four months later. British Columbia’s ombudsman Jay Chalke said in a report released last week that neither MacIsaac nor the others who were fired did anything wrong and should not have lost their jobs after they were falsely accused of jeopardizing the privacy of residents and the ministry’s reputation. Read the full story. Log-in account required (no cost). >

  • BC takes lead in medically assisted dying with dedicated care coordinators

    April 09, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: Canada’s health-care system remains in the middle of a massive shift on the question of death, less than a year after medically assisted dying was deemed legal. So where can patients and their families turn if they want to understand their options? In BC, that job falls to five medical assistance in dying (MAID) patient care coordinators — each regional health authority has one — who help health-care workers and patients understand who’s eligible and connect critically ill people with doctors and nurses who can help. Read the full story >

  • Nurses to help out MDs

    April 07, 2017

    Kelowna Capital News​: Kelowna doctors aim to bring nurses onto staff roster with nurse-in-practice initiative. Several Kelowna region family doctors will add nurses to their staff teams to expand access and support for more patients. The new initiative was unveiled in an announcement today by local MLAs Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson. Six family doctors’ offices have expressed interest in bringing nurses into their practices – including licensed practical nurses and registered nurses – through new funding from the province. Supported by the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, the doctors are in the early stages of recruitment, with nurses expected to join their offices in the coming months. Read the full story >

  • BC ombudsman says health firings were wrong, wants to close ‘dark chapter’

    April 07, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: A former British Columbia health worker who took his own life after being caught up in a government drug policy investigation did nothing wrong and should never have lost his job, ombudsman Jay Chalke said in a report released Thursday. He said in his report, called “Misfire,” that seven government health workers and a contract employee who were fired five years ago because of a flawed and rushed investigation did not deserve the personal, financial and professional harm they suffered. Read the full story. Log-in account required (no cost)>

  • Retiring BC health minister, Terry Lake, contemplates his next chapter

    April 07, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: Retiring BC Health Minister Terry Lake was interviewed at length when first appointed to the cabinet position four years ago and recently, the Kamloops MLA agreed to sit down for one last chat. He arrived at the Vancouver Sun and Province with a fitting book in his briefcase — Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year. Lake is turning 60 next month and now contemplating his next chapter. As he sat down, he said to his assistant:  “If I’m about to say something stupid, yell at me.” That prompts the first question for this condensed, edited interview. Read/watch the interview >

  • More than 1 million unnecessary tests and treatments are performed on Canadians every year

    April 06, 2017

    Canadian Healthcare Network​: A joint effort from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) and Choosing Wisely Canada has revealed that there are more than one million unnecessary tests and treatments administered to patients across the country every year. The groups looked at eight specific tests and treatments and found that about 30% of them weren’t conducted according to Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations and, thus, were likely unnecessary. Read the full story. Log-in account required (no cost)>

  • Wanted: Family doctors for Langley

    April 06, 2017

    Langley Times​: There are few things worse than feeling sick and having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor at a walk-in clinic. Or to arrive at a clinic only to read a note on the door, saying they’ve closed because the doctors have reached the maximum number of patients they can see in a day. But that’s the reality of health care in BC. And in Langley, one of the fastest growing municipalities in the province, the demand for doctors far outstrips the supply, said Ellen Peterson, executive director for the Langley Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Nurse practitioners say they can help fill gaps in BC physician shortage

    April 06, 2017

    CBC News​: British Columbia's nurse practitioners could help ease the province's strained health care system, says the head of the profession's main association in BC. In order to do that, they say the funding model the provincial health authorities use to hire nurse practitioners has to change. Right now, most primary care is delivered through family physicians and walk-in clinics that bill for each patient seen, said Kathleen Fyvie, president of the BC Nurse Practitioner Association. Read or listen to the full story >

  • Opinion: Counting on doctors not a sure thing

    April 06, 2017

    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? Read the full op-ed >

  • Ombudsperson finds government decisions harmed 8 fired health ministry workers

    April 06, 2017

    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." Read the full article >

  • Langley has no new family doctors taking patients

    April 05, 2017

    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. Read the full story >

  • Closure of BC walk-in clinics spurs petition for more family doctors

    April 04, 2017

    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. Read/listen to the full story >

  • Editorial: Easing the burden on hospital ERs

    April 04, 2017

    Peace Arch News​: ERs across the province are regularly pushed to their limits – and beyond – over the past number of years, as anyone who’s made a visit on a weekend knows. Patients all across the province have their own emergency-room horror stories, including those in Surrey where, last month, the BC Nurses Union – as well as affected patients – spoke out about beds lining the hallways of Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, which the union claims is the norm, rather than a rarity. But no matter the problem, and regardless of the hospital, there is a crucial piece of the puzzle to consider when it comes to relieving pressure on emergency departments — our own behaviour. Read the full op-ed >

  • Walk-in clinic closures ignite petition demanding more doctors in BC

    April 04, 2017

    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. Read/watch the full story >

  • Clinic closure marks demand for more doctors

    April 04, 2017

    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 >

  • “Edge of a crisis”

    April 04, 2017

    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 >

  • Private seniors’ care facilities, opponents draw battle lines on Sunshine Coast

    April 03, 2017

    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 >

  • Nanaimo seniors rally against elder care treatment

    April 03, 2017

    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 >

  • Government pledges $90 million for more clinics like those on Kamloops’ North Shore

    April 03, 2017

    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 >

  • Walk-in Clinic reps addressing BC’s primary care needs Friday

    April 02, 2017

    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 >

  • Our Cause: Broadmead takes sustainable approach to residential care

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • Osoyoos residents petition for more family doctors

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • Healthcare petition details concerns over lack of services in Osoyoos and Oliver

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • Seniors being underserved say Cowichan Valley candidates

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • "Stack and rack in the ER"

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • Sooke mayor says town facing health crisis, needs care facility

    March 31, 2017

    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 >

  • Ex-top doc running for MLA

    March 30, 2017

    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 >

  • Using the ER appropriately in Chilliwack will take a shift in culture

    March 29, 2017

    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 >

  • Yap pledges 25 senior daycare spaces at Austin Harris Residence

    March 28, 2017

    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 >

  • Opinion : Investing in health and seniors care

    March 28, 2017

    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 >

  • Top doc resigns in protest

    March 28, 2017

    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 >

  • Report sounds alarm on care for seniors

    March 28, 2017

    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 >

  • Most Canadians get timely medical treatment: report

    March 28, 2017

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

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