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In the News

  • Progress made on Delta doctor shortage

    March 13, 2018

    The Delta Optimist​: Steady progress is taking place behind the scenes trying to hook more Deltans up with a family doctor. The Delta Division of Family Practice has been recruiting to fill a growing shortage of family physicians, due to many retiring or near retirement, which has been a great concern for South Deltans as well as practically every other community in the province. Read the full story >

  • Cervical cancer screening can save women’s lives

    March 05, 2018

    The Abbotsford News​: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Canadian women ages 20 to 44. To help raise awareness of the simple, life-saving screening available for free, the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice, a non-profit supporting doctors and the health projects and programs they lead, launched a project with community partners to increase cervical cancer screening in Abbotsford. Read the full story >

  • Q&A: BC Minister of Health on family doctors, senior homes and pharmacare

    March 02, 2018

    CBC News​: Provincial and federal budgets released in the last 10 days contain several health-related changes, from the elimination of medical services plan premiums to discussion of a national plan for prescription drug coverage. The provincial Minister of Health Adrian Dix sat down with Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition, to discuss what British Columbians can expect. Read the full story >

  • One step forward, one step back, in attempts to draw doctors to Maple Ridge

    March 02, 2018

    Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows News​: When a family doctor retires, the odds of finding another in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are not good. “The public doesn’t grasp what’s going on until their doctor retires,” said Coun. Bob Masse, who was at a Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice meeting last week when the issue was discussed. Maple Ridge has struggled with a doctor shortage for years, leaving families without a regular physician. They even have difficulty seeing a doctor at a walk-in clinic as those offices cut hours because of physician shortages. Read the full story >

  • Doctor shortage puts pressure on Okanagan walk-in clinics

    March 01, 2018

    Global News​: Waits of two to three hours have become all too familiar at Okanagan walk-in clinics but fears are growing the situation will get worse before it gets better. “We are definitely short of family doctors, there’s no question and it’s going to get worse over the next few years,” Dr Michael Koss, leading physician with the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, said. Read the full story >

  • Changing the picture of family medical care

    February 25, 2018

    Salmon Arm Observer​: According to Health Match BC, a provincially funded job site for healthcare professionals, there are five practices in Penticton looking for a new physician, three in Summerland and one each in Princeton, Oliver and Osoyoos. “We’re holding our own, but we could use a few more. There are recruitment efforts happening all of the time,” said Tracy St. Claire, executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, which is responsible for recruitment efforts. Read the full story >

  • New medical clinic to open at Royal Inland Hospital

    February 21, 2018

    Kamloops this Week​: A new medical clinic should open at Royal Inland Hospital in the spring. It will provide some relief for an overworked emergency room and medical care for people who don’t have a doctor. The urgent family-care and learning centre will be operated in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine program at RIH and Thompson Region Division of Family Practice. Plans are to run it daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Read the full story >

  • What Nova Scotia can learn from a BC community's red carpet recruitment efforts

    February 21, 2018

    CBC News​: Ask people in British Columbia to describe the province's doctor shortage, and they'll use words like "desperate," "urgent," and "a crisis." So it may come as a surprise to those who live out west that Nova Scotia health leaders are looking to BC for recruitment ideas. That's because recruiters in BC have managed to do something Nova Scotia has not: increase the number of doctors in the province. Read the full story  >

  • Lower Mainland clinic forced to close after reaching daily patient limit

    February 20, 2018

    Agassiz-Harrison Observer​: A Lower Mainland walk-in clinic has had to limit hours of operation and close early due to a shortage of doctors and increase in patients. Cottonwood Medical Clinic in Maple Ridge was closed on Monday, after already experiencing long lineups earlier this month, with 10 to 15 people waiting at the door for it to open. Three-hour waits to see a doctor have been common. Read the full story  >

  • Mini Med School is back in Chilliwack starting in March

    February 15, 2018

    The Chilliwack Progress​: Here come the free medical info sessions in Chilliwack set to run on consecutive Tuesday nights in March. Organizers say there will be shorter lecture-type sessions this year, followed by an exciting one-hour Q&A with a four-person panel. As usual the Mini Med School, presented by Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, offers the rare chance to hear from and chat with local doctors and other health professionals on key medical topics. Read the full story  >

  • A team model blossoms in the East Kootenay

    February 08, 2018

    Cranbrook Daily Townsman​: When Katie Grady was first diagnosed with anorexia five years ago, when she was 14, the treatment for eating disorders in East Kootenays was uncoordinated and tough to navigate. Now, all that has changed. Over the last 2.5 years local providers have come together to create a team-based model of eating disorders (ED) care. The simple but effective model — designed by local providers and implemented by them — is helping young patients from all the communities in the East Kootenays (EK) to receive top-notch, coordinated and integrated care. Read the full story >

  • Recruiters say 20 more doctors needed in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

    February 08, 2018

    Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows News​: Patients are facing waits of more than three hours to see a doctor at the Cottonwood Medical Clinic. When staff arrive in the morning, there are already 10-15 people lined up. Some days there are disputes. On Saturday, a woman who lined up at the door was told by another who had been waiting in a car that she was first in line, because she got there first. Read the full story >

  • Deal ‘close’ to build Trellis facility on Shíshálh Nation land, says Dix

    February 07, 2018

    Coast Reporter​: First it was going to be Sechelt, then Gibsons – now it looks like the Trellis long-term care facility for the Sunshine Coast will be located on shíshálh Nation lands. “We’re confirming that we’ve moved close to an agreement,” Health Minister Adrian Dix told Coast Reporter late Wednesday. Read the full story >

  • Community groups to decide how to spend up to $100,000 in funding for overdose response in Vernon

    February 05, 2018​: People with lived experience in the opioid overdose crisis will be among those involved in a new community driven response to the deadly epidemic in Vernon. Identified as one of the hardest hit BC communities, Vernon was recently named as one of 18 cities eligible for up to $100,000 each to fund the creation of Community Action Teams to address the opioid overdose crisis. Read the full story >

  • Gibsons joins calls for action from Dix

    February 01, 2018

    Coast Reporter​: Councillors in Gibsons have joined Sunshine Coast doctors in pressing Health Minister Adrian Dix for action on long-term care. The Gibsons letter follows one from the doctors of the Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice that highlighted the impact on hospital operations of a continuing shortage of long-term care beds. The doctors urged Dix and VCH to move forward with the 2016 contract with Trellis Seniors Services to build a new facility. “That contract should be implemented now to ensure an immediate build. Time is of the essence,” the doctors’ letter said. Read the full story >

  • Sidney clinic starts paying back municipal loan

    January 26, 2018

    Victoria News: A medical clinic in Sidney has started to repay the town for a $192,000 loan it received at the end of 2016. The Saanich Peninsula Primary Health Care Society, which operates the Peninsula Medical clinic on Bevan Avenue, has already repaid $50,000 of the loan and a second payment of $50,000 is expected April 1 this year. The remaining $92,000 will be repaid to the Town of Sidney over five installments, starting in 2019. Read the full story >

  • "Absolute, total acceptance"

    January 26, 2018

    Langley Times: “LGBTQ seniors are not as comfortable to be out or disclose the true nature of their identity or relationships. Therefore they are unlikely to strongly challenge existing policy or practices, and may continue to live closeted lives. The result is that we have to create safe environments for them to come out into.” To help change this stigma, Higginbotham has spearheaded a new social group for LGBTQ seniors in Langley. The group, which had its first meeting at Timms Community Centre in Langley City on Jan. 22, was created in partnership with Langley Seniors Community Action Table and Langley Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Doctors demand action from health minister

    January 25, 2018

    Coast Reporter​: The Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice, an umbrella group representing local doctors, wants action on long-term care from the new health minister. In a letter to Adrian Dix, copied to Coast Reporter, doctors Jim Petzold, the lead physician of the Division’s residential care committee, Karen Forgie, the group’s chair, and Anthony Barale, the president of the Medical Staff Association, say elderly patients have been “languishing in acute care beds” at the hospital because of continued delays with a new long-term care facility. Read the full story >

  • Help exists for chronic pain sufferers

    January 17, 2018

    Powell River Peak Online​: A significant number of people in the province are affected by chronic pain, according to Pain BC director Jennifer Hanson. One in five British Columbians suffer from the condition, which translates to roughly 4,000 Powell River residents. Local resources are currently available to help people afflicted and also their support network, said Powell River Division of Family Practice assistant project manager Kerri Carlson. In 2017, the division launched an extensive two-year investigation into chronic pain. Part of its project is making the supports available to the community more widely known. Read the full story >

  • Langley social group set up to provide inclusivity for LGBTQ2 seniors

    January 12, 2018

    Aldergrove Star: A grassroots group is forming to provide social opportunities for LGBTQ2 seniors in the community. The social group Seniors of Langley for those 55 and older who are are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or two-spirited is being created. “There is no organization per se that is responsible for setting up SOL [Seniors of Langley],” explained Susan Higginbotham. ‘It has rather evolved at the grass roots level initiated by a conversation at LINC [Langley Integrated Network Care) meeting that I attended. SOL was formed in partnership with LSCAT [Langley Seniors Community Action Table] and LDFP [Langley Division of Family Practice]. Read the full story >

  • Health care crisis creates issues for Agassiz, Harrison residents

    January 12, 2018

    Agassiz-Harrison Observer​: Chilliwack Division of Family Practice coordinator Emily Sayward said getting more physicians into the area is a top priority. “We, in partnership with the Chilliwack Economic partners Corporation and Fraser Health are working diligently on this,” she said. “There were seven new doctors [recruited] to Chilliwack last year alone. But the thing is, we just can’t keep up with the booming drive out to this area. In addition, we always have doctors that leave – they retire, they take new opportunities in new communities.” Read the full story >

  • Kootenay Boundary postpartum support group needs support

    January 10, 2018

    Trail Times​: A program that has been helping new moms throughout the area is asking community members for a bit of assistance. The Motherwise project is a professionally facilitated support group for new moms in Kootenay Boundary communities dealing with mental health challenges relating to childbearing. Last year the project operated on a pilot basis with funding provided by the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Nanaimo Division pain management workshop features CBT expert Dr Daniel O’Connell

    January 09, 2018

    BC Medical Journal​: Supporting patients to reduce their dependence on opioids for pain management is an important component in addressing the opioid crisis in BC. To ensure physicians are well-equipped to provide patients with pain management alternatives, many divisions of family practice around the province have organized pain management education sessions and workshops. Read the full story  >

  • UFV students to connect hospital patients to community resources

    January 04, 2018

    The Abbotsford News​: A new service to be based at Abbotsford Regional Hospital will see University of the Fraser Valley student volunteers helping to connect community resources to patients who are being discharged. Jena Kruckenberg and Mia Harries, two UFV students in child and youth studies and kinesiology respectively, are working together to launch the Resource Navigation program in partnership with the hospital and the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice, where both are also part-time employees. Read the full story >

  • BC health minister sets goal to increase access to medical care

    January 01, 2018

    Global News: The promise to get every British Columbian a family doctor by 2015 didn’t work out for the BC Liberals but BC NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix said getting people access to primary care providers is one of his top priorities for 2018. Read the full story >

  • New survey asks mid Island women about maternity care

    December 27, 2017

    Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle: A new survey is examining maternity care across Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Oceanside with the help of new mothers and family doctors. It’s part of a larger provincial maternity initiative led by the Shared Care Committee, a partnership of Doctors of BC, the BC Government with Perinatal Services BC, and is being conducted through the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice. The survey will look at where gaps are, what can be improved for pregnant and new mothers and if collaboration between midwives, obstetricians, family doctors and labour and delivery nurses is making a difference. Read the full story >

  • Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: expert

    December 14, 2017

    Global News​: Family doctors should be on the front lines of addiction treatment but many are unwilling to learn about substance use even as a national overdose crisis worsens, the head of medical education at Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital says. Read the full story >

  • BC doctor shortage to worsen as more physicians near retirement: study

    December 11, 2017

    CTV News​: The prognosis is bleak for those British Columbians searching for a family physician amid the province's doctor drought. A new study out of the University of British Columbia suggests BC's serious shortage of doctors is only going to get worse. Read the full story >

  • Better stay healthy because doctor supply in BC is about to get a whole lot worse

    December 10, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: Patients having trouble finding doctors — or waiting too long to see specialists and get treatment — haven’t seen anything yet, suggests a study by BC researchers that was published Monday. That’s because about 40 per cent of BC doctors are at — or near — the average age that doctors retire, 65.1. And to exacerbate things, the study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that 40 per cent of doctors reduce their workload at least 10 per cent in the three years before they retire. Read the full story >

  • Comment: Health system needs to support doctors better

    December 06, 2017

    Times Colonist: A recent study and media reports suggest that physicians, in their quest for work-life balance, are worsening patient access to care. The argument goes like this: the fact that the number of BC family doctors has increased yet they are seeing fewer patients means we are not working as hard as we once did. The unspoken but obvious conclusion is that physicians are to blame for our current challenges in access to primary care. Read the full op-ed >

  • Doctor recruitment efforts continue

    December 05, 2017

    Kamloops this Week: Our community faces many challenges when it comes to access to primary health care. Many people living in Kamloops and area do not have a family doctor or a nurse practitioner and have not had one for some time. The local physicians who make up the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice have been leading and working hard to address some of these issues in a variety of ways. Read the full story >

  • Salvation Army Medical Clinic transformation transforms lives

    November 20, 2017

    The Abbotsford News​: Tucked away within the heart of the Abbotsford Salvation Army – Centre of Hope, a small medical clinic serves some of Abbotsford’s most vulnerable people. Serving those who are homeless as well as those who may face barriers in accessing traditional medical services, the Salvation Army clinic was established more than five years ago. In partnership with the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice and Fraser Health, a new model of expanded care brought expanded hours with physicians Dr. James Liu and Dr. Sarah Culkin. Today, the interdisciplinary team serves patients’ medical needs and connects them to resources such as housing, transportation and social support. Read the full story >

  • Doctors office short-staffed

    November 10, 2017

    Castanet: The Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Centre is running a little short-staffed this month. The clinic says unexpected staffing challenges mean they do not have enough doctors to meet the needs of patients in November. “The staff and doctors are working extremely hard to provide the best care we can with our limited resources, however we will not be able to accommodate all requests,” the clinic said in a statement to patients. Read the full story >

  • White Rock-South Surrey team leaders describe ‘phenomenal’ success of collaboration

    November 03, 2017

    Peace Arch News​: Funding for a provincewide collaborative that formed nearly five years ago with an aim to improve response and support for children and youth dealing with mental health and substance-use issues, and their families, is coming to an end this year. Those involved in the White Rock-South Surrey Local Action Team of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use initiative, however, say they have received a year’s grace beyond Dec. 31, thanks to a grant from the Surrey Youth Assistance Fund. Read the full story >

  • Transforming health care in the Boundary

    November 03, 2017

    The Nelson Daily​: Until recently, Boundary residents have had to rely on the Boundary District Hospital emergency department for needs that could be addressed through an appointment with their regular doctor at the local clinic or through a home health nurse. This created potential delays in treatment and a lack of continuity of care, as patients were often seen by a different emergency department physician each time. It also created ongoing pressures on the Boundary Hospital emergency department. Read the full story >

  • Healthwise: Get thinking about your health

    November 02, 2017

    Burnaby Now: How often do you think about health? If you’re like most, it comes to mind when you’re having problems. In youth, we take our health for granted. After we’re diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, it can consume our thoughts and time as we attend ongoing medical appointments and tests. As part of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice’s Empowering Patients public education series, I present health as something you should attend to each and every day. Read the full story >

  • Doctor still not replaced

    October 31, 2017

    Castanet: It appears the former patients of Dr Martine Lebel in Summerland will be without a physician for some time. The SOS Division of Family Practice announced Monday they have failed to find a replacement for Dr Lebel, who retired with the closure of the Jubilee Clinic. “A recent promising prospect has, unfortunately, fallen through,” a news release says. Read the full story >

  • More calls, texts, emails — with your doctor's receptionists

    October 29, 2017

    The Vancouver Sun​: A new fee structure has been introduced in BC to help doctors spend more face-to-face time with patients and less time on non-medical tasks their office staff can do. Dr Shelley Ross, chair of the doctors with the BC General Practice Services Committee, said delegating more tasks to office assistants or nurses in medical offices is meant to free up doctors for purely medical work by improving office workflow and efficiency. Read the full story >

  • New healthcare foundation in Parksville Qualicum Beach

    October 27, 2017

    Parksville Qualicum Beach News​: Plans for a new community, team-based health facility in Qualicum Beach took a step closer to becoming a reality when a newly elected board of directors was put in place in September at the annual general meeting of the Qualicum Beach-Parksville Healthcare Foundation. Read the full story >

  • Rural Pre-Med Scholarships Awarded

    October 24, 2017

    The Rossland Telegraph​: The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice represents family physicians in the region with the goal of improving patient access to local primary care, increase local physicians’ influence on health care delivery and policy, and provide professional support. Individual doctors make contributions to the fund and are matched by the organization. Students who receive the $1,000 scholarships must have graduated from a Kootenay Boundary high school. Read the full story >


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