New health centre opens in West Shore, caters to marginalized groups
TIMES COLONIST: A new medical clinic that aims to provide primary care for 6,700 patients in Colwood, Langford, Highlands and Metchosin opened its doors this week. Three years in the making, the 5,400-square-foot Westshore Community Health Centre, located at the Pacific Centre Family Services Association on Goldstream Avenue in Colwood, is the third of its kind in Greater Victoria, along with Island Sexual Health and Luther Court in Saanich, which is expected to open in about a month. Open six days a week, the West Shore centre will be staffed by nine doctors along with nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a social worker and community health workers.
A collaboration between the Health Ministry, Island Health, Pacific Centre Family Services Association and South Island Division of Family Practice, the Westshore Community Health Centre will be operated by the association and Island Health.
EAST KOOTENAY NEWS ONLINE WEEKLY: Expectant parents will benefit from improved access to comprehensive pregnancy care at the new Encompass Pregnancy Care clinic, which opened in March in Interior Health’s Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Cranbrook, located in the Baker Street Professional Centre at 1311 2nd St.
“We are excited to welcome Encompass Pregnancy Care as part of our urgent care team. The Primary Care Network partnership between Interior Health, Ktunaxa Nation and the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice has made it possible to expand services available to people in Cranbrook and Kimberley,” said Shannon Statham, Interior Health’s primary care lead for the East Kootenay.
Ucluelet clinic to see patients three days a week under new deal
TIMES COLONIST: Island Health says it has reached a deal with doctors at the Ucluelet Medical Clinic and the landlord to keep the doors open for 18 months — rotating physicians for in-person and virtual appointments — until a long-term solution is established. Two physicians will provide in-person services on Mondays and one on Wednesdays, while patients will have access to online physician services Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The health authority is also working with the Long Beach Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, local Indigenous communities, and the Health Ministry on longer-term solutions.
Crowd supporting local docs welcomes commuters to Maple Ridge
MAPLE RIDGE-PITT MEADOWS NEWS: People waving signs in support of family doctors greeted commuters to Maple Ridge Thursday morning. About 20 supporters took part in the event put on by the Division of Family Practice called Honk for your Doc in honour of BC Family Doctor Day on May 19. The event was held amid reports of a family physician shortage across Canada.
Family doctors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows accepting new patients
MAPLE RIDGE-PITT MEADOWS NEWS: There is a doctor shortage across the province – but not in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows where currently there are multiple doctors accepting patients. Eight doctors, according to the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, are seeking patients, an exceptional amount given about 900,000 people across the province do not have a family doctor.
Government investing in short-term measures to keep walk-in clinics open on south Vancouver Island
CHEK NEWS: The B.C. government has announced it will be investing in short-term measures in an effort to support primary care and keep walk-in clinics open on south Vancouver Island. The Ministry of Health says these measures are based on local engagement over the last several months through the South Island Primary Care Network (PCN) Walk-in Clinic Task Force.
Opinion: As COVID-19 restrictions lift, stop putting off other health tests
NEW WESTMINSTER RECORD: Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Hendry has announced an easing of pandemic health restrictions. Take this time to consider your total personal health. When did you last check in with your family doctor? Are you due for some screening tests? Do you have concerning symptoms that require medical attention?
Cranbrook’s Urgent and Primary Care Centre to extend hours
MY EAST KOOTENAY NOW: Cranbrook’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre will be able to extend its hours of operation thanks to additional staff. “This centre came together with great support from our partners with the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice and the Ktunaxa Nation. It’s rewarding to see it expanding, so that people in the community have more access to health-care services they need.”
Fraser Northwest wins $100K for videos promoting COVID-19 vaccines
NEW WESTMINSTER RECORD: The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice was named the grand prize winner in the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge for its Physician on a Mission, a series of videos — in English, Korean, Farsi, Cantonese and Arabic — promoting the COVID-19 vaccine.
New centralized waitlist connects Cowichan residents with family doctors
THE DISCOURSE: Residents of the Cowichan region no longer need to call individual clinics in hopes of finding a family doctor who will accept new patients. As of April 2021, there’s a new, centralized waitlist for people seeking a primary care provider. People can register for the Health Connect Registry online or by calling HealthLinkBC at 811.
Health professionals helicopter into isolated Nicomen community
MERRITT HERALD: On Dec. 3 a helicopter carrying health and mental health professionals took off from the Merritt airport en route to Nicomen. Nicomen, an indigenous community of roughly 50 people located just off Hwy 1 east of Lytton, has been cut off since the only bridge providing access collapsed in the extreme flooding event of Nov. 15.
Esquimalt urgent and primary care centre opens at permanent location
CTV News Vancouver Island: Esquimalt's urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opened at its new permanent location on Monday morning, a move that will increase accessibility and operating hours, according to the province. The UPCC is now located at 890 Esquimalt Rd. and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. In June, the UPCC opened at a temporary location at the Esquimalt Health Unit at 530 Fraser St. Now, more patients will be able to use the UPCC at its permanent location on Esquimalt Road, which only recently finished construction.
Trail Times: A new health care facility is opening in Cranbrook, aimed at providing care for urgent but non life-threatening conditions, and connecting local residents to a regular primary care provider. The Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC), which officially opens on Wednesday (Dec. 8) at the Baker St. Mall, will initially be staffed full-time by 15 health care professionals — with a planned build out to 28 — consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physiotherapists and social workers.
Fort Nelson physicians join Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice
Energeticcity.ca: The Fort Nelson physician group has taken the next step in realizing the vision of creating locally innovative, accessible and sustainable health services for the Northern Rockies Region by joining the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice.
Campaign kicking off to show doctors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows the community cares
MAPLE RIDGE-PITT MEADOWS NEWS: Doctors are involved in peoples entire lives from birth until death. They listen to their patients problems and diagnose health issues as best they can to make sure we live the healthiest lives possible. This holiday season the Division of Family Practice wants residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to show doctors in the community that they are appreciated.
Patient advisory group seeks Kootenay Boundary members
Trail Times: If you’re interested in making health care more patient and family-centred, then the Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee and Community (PACC) may be the group for you. PACC is looking for new members. PACC provides input into decisions related to the Kootenay Boundary Collaborative Services Committee (CSC), a group of health care leaders, providers and coordinators, and Indigenous and patient partners. The CSC is tasked with advancing primary health care through enhanced team-based care in acute, residential, and community care settings.
New Community Health Centre coming to the West Shore
CHEK News: The B.C. government has announced that a new Community Health Centre (CHC) will be opening for families on the West Shore in spring 2022. The new centre will offer people and families living in Colwood, Langford, Highlands and Metchosin more access to everyday primary healthcare services and social supports once it officially opens at 324 Goldstream Avenue in Colwood. The new CHC will be a community-governed, not-for-profit organization with services tailored to meet the health needs of the community. The new centre will offer 16 exam rooms and six virtual care stations and support areas, according to the government.
Opinion: Look to Primary Care Networks for COVID-19 support
New West Record: The Thanksgiving holiday prompts us to nurture gratitude – the appreciation of the good in our lives past and present – and it reminds us to think of our neighbours who are in need. On the top of the list, our personal connections... Throughout the pandemic, Burnaby’s Primary Care Networks have coordinated social supports in their community. If you or someone you know is a Burnaby resident and requires some assistance, please connect on their website... The Burnaby Division of Family Practice’s Empowering Patients public health education program also provides handouts, slides and videos to remind the entire community of what screening tests are required at different ages and what type of physical symptoms should prompt a visit to your doctor. This information is freely available on the Division’s website.
Dr. Karin Kausky named Whistler's Citizen of the Year
Pique News Magazine: Dr. Karin Kausky is Whistler's 2021 Citizen of the Year. The Whistler Medical Clinic physician was one of 10 individuals and organizations who were honoured as Whistler’s business community gathered virtually on Thursday night, Sept. 16, to celebrate its best and brightest at the annual Whistler Excellence Awards. "It is such an honour to be nominated for this award, let alone selected from such an inspiring group of people," Kausky said in her acceptance speech.
New West doctors tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy with multi-language videos
New West Record: Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice recently launched a campaign called Physician on a Mission to tackle vaccine hesitancy by amplifying the voices of family physicians in the Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, Vancouver and Greater Vancouver regions. This campaign was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge.
VIDEO: New campaign has Tri-City physicians 'on a mission' to ease COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
TriCity News: Family doctors across the Tri-Cities are teaming up with colleagues in hopes of reaching out to residents who are still unsure if they want to get a COVID-19 vaccination. The video series features three regional doctors — two from Coquitlam and one in Port Moody — speaking their thoughts on why eligible people aged 12 years and older should get jabbed. It was also produced in multiple languages and focuses primarily on minority groups, as well as young people.
E-know: People in Cranbrook and neighbouring communities will have increased access to health care with a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opening in November at 1311-2nd Street. The Cranbrook UPCC is a collaboration between Interior Health, the Ministry of Health, the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice and the Ktunaxa Nation. This UPCC is part of the East Kootenay Primary Care Network (PCN).
Can primary care networks solve Greater Victoria's family doctor gap?
Capital Daily Podcast: In late July, B.C.'s Ministry of Health announced their next steps in working to solve Greater Victoria's primary care shortage: the creation of four new Primary Care Networks, and the unveiling of a new Urgent and Primary Care Centre in downtown Victoria. We hear from Dr Kathy Dabrus, family doctor and member of the Victoria Division of Family Practice, about how she thinks this will help, and her hopes for the changes to come.
Kootenay Boundary introduces new tools for chronic pain patients and health-care providers
Trail Times: Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice announced that it has launched a new set of tools to support patients living with chronic pain. Patients and their health-care providers can now easily access information on referrals, services, education, self-management support, and more. These have been developed as part of the Kootenay Boundary Shared Care Chronic Pain Project, with the input and guidance of local physicians, allied health care practitioners, and patient partners living with chronic pain.
Getting urgent primary care in Victoria - we speak with a doctor
CBC Listen | On the Island with Gregor Craigie: David Lennam spoke with Dr. Kathy Dabrus, a Victorian family physician who has been involved in the development of the primary care networks and the new Urgent and Primary Care Centre.
B.C. unveils new urgent and primary care centre in Victoria
CTV News: A new urgent and primary care centre is open in downtown Victoria, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday. The centre opened on July 19 near the corner of Pandora and Cook streets. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for urgent care, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday for longitudinal care. The centre will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays for longitudinal care, and closed on Sundays and holidays for non-urgent care. Urgent and primary care centres (UPCC) provide medical services for urgent needs that require medical treatment within 24 hours, such as minor cuts or burns, sprains, ear infections or urinary problems.
Williams Lake city eyes action plan to address doctor shortage
The Williams Lake Tribune: Williams Lake city council is hoping to meet with the minister of health this fall to discuss the area’s doctor shortage. Local government officials can request to have scheduled meetings during the Union of BC Municipalities Convention with various cabinet ministers and during the regular meeting Tuesday, June 22, Coun. Sheila Boehm asked that a meeting about the doctor shortage with the Minister of Health be added to the list... Coun. Boehm and Coun. Marnie Brenner told council they attended a meeting with the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice (CIRDFP) and Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes to share their concerns.
Drop-in COVID vaccine clinics now available for Powell River youth
My Powell River Now: It’s now even easier for Powell River youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to get their first dose of a COVID vaccine. Anyone born between 2004 and 2009 can now drop in to get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine at the Complex Clinic on the top floor of the Powell River Recreation Centre. Drop ins are available Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9:15am and 4:00pm. No appointments are necessary for these clinics.
VCH encourages Powell River residents to register for COVID-19 vaccination
My Powell River Now: Vancouver Coastal Health is issuing a reminder to people in Powell River and surrounding areas to register for a COVID vaccine. To receive an alert to book your appointment, you have to be registered here. www.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated. All those born in 2009 or earlier (12+ years of age) are eligible to receive their first dose, with second dose appointments scheduled for around eight weeks after your appointment.
Greater Victoria doctors take to social media to tackle vaccine hesitancy
Times Colonist: Greater Victoria doctors concerned about COVID-vaccine hesitancy, especially amid the spread of a new variant on the Island, have ramped up their efforts to encourage immunization by posting information videos to YouTube and Facebook. “There is a lot of misinformation out there and as a consequence, vaccine hesitancy is a real concern in spite of the good progress with the vaccine rollout,” said Dr. Aaron Childs, a family physician with the Victoria Division of Family Practice, which is behind the videos.
My Powell River Now: Judging from their vaccination rates, people in the Powell River Health Area are committed to putting COVID-19 behind them. According to the Powell River Division of Family Practice – a community-based group of family physicians and facilitators – local residents are getting their first dose of a COVID vaccine at a rate at, or above, the provincial average.
Multi-purpose development planned featuring Indigenous health centre
Energetic City: Developers are planning to build a multi-purpose facility to help fill the healthcare gap in Fort St. John. Peace Holdings is working with the Treaty 8 Tribal Association to build a complex that includes an Indigenous health centre and apartments. The building is part of the planned Prairie Rose Park subdivision on 86th Street, which was acquired in 2012. “The health centre will be the anchor of this development and will provide counselling, medical services and nurses, perhaps, in the space that will be allocated for [Indigenious peoples],” says Peace Holdings representative Ron Brar.
COVID cases fade in Powell River Local Health Area
My Powell River Now: One confirmed case of COVID. That was it for the Powell River Health Area from May 16th to 22nd, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. The Health Area includes the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation. There’s even more good news as the number of people getting a COVID vaccine in the Powell River region continues to rise.
Okanagan hospital district calls for Interior Health to be better communicators
Vernon Morning Star: The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District Board wants better communication with Interior Health At the hospital district’s May 20 meeting, the board voted unanimously to ask for the in-camera meeting to discuss communications and funding for primary care facilities in the area. The request comes following an earlier request for funding from Interior Health.
Maple Ridge doctor honoured for outstanding improvements to local health care
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: A leading physician who has improved the quality of patient care in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has been awarded the Ridge Meadows Division Member Excellence Award for 2021. Dr. Ravi Vanukuru was honoured with the award mid-May for the many projects he has worked on, including a referral project he led in gastroenterology and urology that has created innovative system improvements, like reduced patient wait times. He has also supported other physicians to lead panel management and quality improvement projects.
Vernon Morning Star: On May 19 you can celebrate the more than 6,000 family doctors across the province on BC Family Doctor Day. In recognition of one local family doctor, Penticton-based family medicine practitioner Dr. Jessica Luksts has been named a 2021 BC College of Family Physicians award winner as part of the BC Family Doctor Day celebrations. Dr. Luksts is being honoured for her part in helping to ensure there was adequate personal protective equipment for the medical community in the early days of the pandemic.
2 Okanagan doctors win awards from College of Family Physicians
Castanet: A pair of Okanagan doctors have received annual awards from the BC College of Family Physicians. The awards to Dr. Taran Main in Kelowna and Dr. Jessica Luksts in Penticton were amongst several handed out in advance of Family Doctor Day on May 19. Award recipients are nominated by a member of the public, “BC’s family doctors spend time getting to know patients and their families, delivering patient-centred care that takes into account the whole context of a person’s life,” says Dr. Marjorie Docherty, Kelowna-based family physician and president of the BC College of Family Physicians.
Just two new cases in Powell River Health Area as vaccinations ramp up
My Powell River Now: COVID-19 vaccinations and local case numbers are headed in opposite directions in the Powell River Health Area. And that’s a good thing. The Powell River Division of Family Practice says between May 2nd and 8th, there were just two new cases in the area. This includes the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation. Vaccinations are hitting a new gear in B.C. and the same is true in the Powell River area.
Mixing COVID-19 vaccines safe but effect on immunity not yet clear: U.K. study
News 1130: It’s not yet clear how it affects the immune system, but preliminary study results suggest mixing certain COVID-19 vaccines is safe, though it causes some more frequent symptoms. This comes as more provinces, B.C. being the latest, decide to stop using the AstraZeneca shot as a first dose, reserving supply for second doses. Researchers at Oxford University say there was an increase in short-term adverse reactions, with more frequent mild to moderate symptoms reported, after the Pfizer vaccine was followed four weeks later by AstraZeneca, or vice versa.
News 1130: B.C. is holding its remaining AstraZeneca vaccine doses and saving them for when people get their second doses. “Given the limited availability of the AstraZeneca vaccine supply, we are holding all remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for dose-two booster immunizations. Existing pharmacy bookings will proceed, but no additional appointments will be accepted at this time,” reads a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. “We are also awaiting the findings of studies currently underway on interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. This will help determine our approach and options for second doses,” they add.
COVID-19 Mouth Rinse/Gargle Sample Collection kits to Surrey schools
Voiceonline: Fraser Health, BC Children’s Hospital, and the Surrey School District are working together to provide schools in Surrey with take-home COVID-19 Mouth Rinse/Gargle Sample Collection kits. This initiative will help ensure students who become symptomatic while at school have quick access to COVID-19 testing, while preventing COVID-19 transmission in the school environment.
New after hours urgent care clinic open for all in Comox Valley
My Comox Valley Now: You can now get urgent medical care in the Comox Valley outside of regular hours. The Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, in partnership with Island Health has expanded urgent primary care services for patients. The Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic is open from 5:00pm to 9:00pm and on weekends from 9:00am to 2:00pm for urgent medical care.
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital
Vancouver is Awesome: Fraser Health has declared a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. Five patients at Surrey Memorial Hospital have tested positive for the virus in this outbreak, explains a news release. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions. "Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients," explains the regional health authority.
Opinion: Hesitant about the AstraZeneca vaccine? You really shouldn't be
Vancouver is Awesome: If you are 40 and over, should you or shouldn’t you get the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine? Unlike the mRNA Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been associated with the increased incidence of a very rare type of blood-clotting disorder known as VIPIT (vaccine-induced prothrombotic idiopathic thrombocytopenia). In B.C., the AstraZeneca vaccine is now being offered for those age 40 and over (just announced on Monday) as VIPIT seems to affect younger adults, particularly younger women.
Removal of Spirit Square glass panels sparks concern from homeless advocates
My Campbell River Now: The glass panels that cover the stage at Spirit Square in downtown Campbell River are coming down, and it’s sparking concern from homeless advocates. The removal of the panels was one of the suggestions made by the Downtown Safety Select Committee, and council endorsed the suggestion at its latest meeting. Over the past four months, the committee was tasked with providing recommendations for improving the downtown core, while also helping to determine how to best use the $225,000 budgeted this year for safety initiatives.
Powell River physicians offer safety reminders amid rise in COVID-19 cases
My Powell River Now: The Powell River Division of Family Practice says we can’t let our guard down. In a Facebook post, it says “the third wave of the pandemic has arrived in Powell River.” This comes as the BC Centre for Disease Control reported 15 new COVID-19 cases for the Powell River Local Health Area from April 4th to 10th. The area includes the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation, which has seen five cases and has a 9:00pm to 6:00am curfew in place.
Merritt Herald: A mass immunization clinic kicked off at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Monday, April 12. The clinic seeks to vaccinate as many eligible Merritt citizens as possible against COVID-19. On Sunday, prior to Monday’s opening, the clinic was blessed with a prayer and smudging lead by Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Nkwala, Daniel L. Manuel from the Sylix Nation. Manuel shared wisdom about the custom of smudging and blessing by prayer. “With the sage, we are asking the bad spirits to leave, and with the eagle feather we are calling in the good spirits,” said Manuel.
The Toronto Star: According to an update released by the Merritt Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, Merritt family doctors will be helping vaccinate community members by joining Public Health mass immunization clinics, beginning April 12 at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
New urgent and primary care centre opens in Penticton
Penticton Herald: People living in Penticton and surrounding communities have better access to team-based everyday health care with a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) that is now open at 101 - 437 Martin Street. "The opening of the Penticton UPCC is excellent news for people living in the region," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "The centre will help connect more people with the health care they need when they need it most. Area residents who currently do not have a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care."
Pharmacies 'overwhelmed' by early response to AstraZeneca rollout in B.C.'s Lower Mainland
CBC: A line of people stretched outside the Shoppers Drug Mart at Vancouver's Kingsgate Mall on Wednesday afternoon, made up of hopefuls eager to get their first shot of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. But just before 1:30 p.m. PT, their hopes were dashed. A security guard told the crowd the store's pharmacy had run out of its supply. "We just have to be patient," said Catherine Bussey, who left without an appointment. "I can't really get angry. It's not going to serve any point. I'll keep coming back and trying."
Opinion: COVID-19 vaccine has given us a false sense of security
New Westminster Record: Beyond a doubt, seniors were hardest hit in our first year of the pandemic. They remain at highest risk for serious illness, complications, hospital admission and death. B.C. rightly prioritized our elders with its vaccination plan. We are now in Phase 2 and in April, we will be entering Phase 3. To find out when you and your family members can get vaccinated, keep checking the province’s website.
East Kootenay family doctors still available for appointments
e-know.ca: During the COVID-19 pandemic, some patients have not been checking in with their family doctor, and not keeping on top of their medical care. We recognize that this has been a challenging time for many people, and family doctors can be a support, particularly for people with ongoing chronic conditions that should be monitored. Some people may not be sure whether their doctor is available or how they should best connect with them in the event they will be receiving care in person or by telephone/telehealth.
Plans for mass vaccination clinic at New Westminster's Anvil Centre
New Westminster Record: New Westminster residents may soon be able to get their COVID-19 shots at Anvil Centre. The Fraser Health Authority announced Tuesday it has opened five mass immunization clinics in Chilliwack, Cloverdale, South Surrey, Delta North and Coquitlam, and plans are in the works to open four more in New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey and Langley. “These new clinics will support our current immunization plans and will remain open through phases three and four as we work to immunize our communities over the coming months,” stated a Fraser Health news release.
Penticton primary care a ‘model for the province’ says Minister Dix
Vernon Morning Star: The expanded Martin Street Urgent and Primary Care Centre and Ponderosa Primary Care Clinic in Penticton are intended to round out what health care is available in the community. They are also how the Ministry of Health wants to see care be delivered in the future. “Penticton is a model for British Columbia,” said Minister Adrian Dix after the announcement for the Martin Street urgent care centre on March 9. “We’re proud of Ponderosa, and working with all of the people for the urgent and primary care centre is one more step towards providing the primary care people in the South Okanagan Similkameen deserve.”
Province announces urgent and primary care centre for Penticton
Global News:Penticton will soon be getting its own urgent and primary care centre. On Tuesday, provincial health officials announced that the centre will be operated by Interior Health and will open its doors on March 31st. The urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) will be located at Unit 101, 437 Martin Street. Reasons for visiting a UPCC and not a hospital include sprains, minor cuts or burns, high fevers and minor infections.
New Westminster school district issues new daily health checklist
New Westminster Record: New Westminster families have been given a new, expanded health checklist as part of a provincial effort to keep people with COVID-19 symptoms out of schools. The school district has updated its daily health checklist in response to new February 2021 guidelines from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Under the new guidelines, any student with at least one “key symptom” of illness is expected to stay home and get a health assessment (either from a health-care provider or 811) to determine whether COVID-19 testing is required.
Opinion: No, silly, the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't 'alter' your DNA
New Westminster Record: This week, we are moving into Phase 2 of our provincial COVID-19 Immunization Plan. Starting Monday, seniors born in 1931 or earlier (90+) and Indigenous (aboriginal, Mehti or Inuit) citizens born in 1956 or earlier (65+) were able to book their first shots. Phase 2 will extend into mid-April and includes all seniors, indigenous people and people who live and work in independent living. Seniors in independent living or supportive housing and those who receive homecare support do not need to call to book their shots. They will be contacted by the health authority or the housing operator.
Mayor of Oliver calls on province to address South Okanagan doctor shortage
Vernon Morning Star: Oliver Mayor Martin Johanssen hopes that his town can set the South Okanagan on the path for better primary health care. Johanssen has assembled a resolution for the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) calling for more funding specifically for team-based primary care clinics like the Ponderosa Primary Care Clinic in Penticton. “There’s no silver bullet,” said Johanssen. “We have to explore this from every angle and try and get some traction somewhere.”
Fraser Health implements proactive measures for increasing cases of COVID-19 and variants
Voiceonline: Fraser Health announced on Monday that it is implementing enhanced management strategies for case finding and contact management to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants. Fraser Health said it is proactively implementing these new, aggressive actions immediately to protect its communities from COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants.
COVID-19 outbreaks at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital
Voiceonline: Fraser Health on Sunday declared COVID-19 outbreaks at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit at each site.
One patient at Surrey Memorial Hospital and five patients at Chilliwack General Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of these outbreaks. The outbreaks are limited to one unit at each hospital. The units are temporarily closed to admissions
COVID-19 outbreaks at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital
Voiceonline: Fraser Health on Sunday declared COVID-19 outbreaks at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit at each site. One patient at Surrey Memorial Hospital and five patients at Chilliwack General Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of these outbreaks. The outbreaks are limited to one unit at each hospital. The units are temporarily closed to admissions
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health
Vernon Morning Star: Social support for seniors, those living alone, caregivers and those struggling with addiction are getting a boost. The Lake Country Health Planning Society has been granted $21,840 from the district of Lake Country. The funds, from general surplus, are approved based on the assumption that 2021 will be the final year funding will be required from the district.
Penticton Herald: Investing public money into a non-profit health centre would pay off in better access to doctors in Summerland, local politicians heard Monday. Following a presentation from its potential tenant, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, council voted unanimously to order a feasibility study of the project.
Fraser Health implements proactive measures for increasing cases of COVID-19 and variants
Voiceonline: Fraser Health announced on Monday that it is implementing enhanced management strategies for case finding and contact management to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants. Fraser Health said it is proactively implementing these new, aggressive actions immediately to protect its communities from COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants.
Powell River doctors release COVID-19 survey results
Coast Reporter: Powell River Division of Family Practice has released results of its latest COVID-19 survey, with 647 people responding to the month-long survey, conducted in late 2020. This was the second COVID-19 survey conducted by the physicians and its intent is to illustrate how COVID-19 has impacted Powell River and how respondents could be best supported during this time.
New program for chronic pain sufferers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Maple Ridge News: A new chronic pain self-management program is available for residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The program – that just finished its pilot cohort at the Ridge Meadows Wellness and Urgent and Primary Care Centre – educates adults who have chronic pain on how pain works and gives them strategies to increase their quality of life and daily function. “The medical system has traditionally treated pain by focusing on the biological issue, but we know from the literature that persistent pain has mental and social aspects as well,” explained Natalie Carrion, an occupational therapist for the program.
Eastern Fraser Valley Hearts Campaign not just for healthcare workers
The Chilliwack Progress: A local campaign is hoping to warm hearts and bring thanks to frontline heroes in Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope. Chilliwack Division of Family Practice has launched its Hearts Campaign just in time for Valentine’s Day, and now they want folks to write down messages of appreciation on hearts and share them on social media.
VIDEO: Capturing the power of story-telling with Indigenous nurse Inez Louis
The Chilliwack Progress: Inez Louis says the power of a story can bring communities together. Louis, who hails from the Skowkale community and is a nurse, shared her thoughts on storytelling in the latest YouTube videos created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network.
‘It’s heartbreaking’: B.C.’s midwife shortage claims South Okanagan’s only clinic
Global News: Reaction is pouring in as the South Okanagan’s only midwifery clinic announced its upcoming closure after a decade of offering maternity care to expectant mothers. “It is really sad, to be honest,” said Summerland mother Erin Carlson, who gave birth twice at home in 2017 and 2020 with the support of Willow Community Midwives. “I don’t think I was shocked, because I know the pandemic has taken a lot of shock value away from a lot of different things.
Pathways directory makes it easy to navigate community service options
The Chilliwack Progress: A new online directory for residents of Chilliwack and points east will help everyone navigate the complex world of community services. The Pathways team and the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice partnered with Fraser Health and local organizations to roll out the new community services directory for Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural.
VIDEO: Getting outside for some forest bathing with Dr. Marc during COVID-19
The Chilliwack Progress: Getting outside during this ongoing pandemic is more important than ever. The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku refers to forest bathing, the act of healing and growing by being out in nature. Chilliwack General Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Marc Greidanus explains the importance of this for our mental health in the latest YouTube videos created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network.
Fraser Health calls on communities to continue to follow COVID-19 public health measures
Voiceonline.ca: Transmission of COVID-19 continues in our communities, and on Tuesday, Fraser Health called on its communities to continue to follow the COVID-19 public health measures. “At this critical time, it is imperative that British Columbians work together to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. We are working hard to ensure vulnerable populations receive the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible, but immunizations are only one part of the equation: we must all follow the public health measures that are in place to keep our communities safe,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
Opinion: I fear a tsunami of preventable diseases due to COVID-19
New Westminster Record: While the pandemic remains a topic of daily concern, we’ve witnessed the more silent epidemics of social isolation, mental illness and drug poisonings. I also fear a tsunami of preventable cancers and diseases. Most of us haven’t seen our family doctors since the start of the pandemic. Most telehealth calls are reactive - in response to acute symptoms - as opposed to the foundational preventive and proactive approaches to your health.
VIDEO: Getting real with Dr. Marc about COVID-19 in Chilliwack
The Chilliwack Progress: People are dying of COVID-19 in Chilliwack and it’s not just older people. That’s part of the message from emergency room physician Dr. Marc Greidanus in the second of two YouTube videos created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network.
Primary Care Clinic funding could be a cure for South Okanagan Similkameen doctor shortage
Vernon Morning Star: The South Okanagan Similkameen needs doctors and one way to attract them is to give them support for providing the best care they can give. That is the thought driving the development of team-based primary care clinics like the Ponderosa Primary Care Centre in Penticton. “The goal of Ponderosa is to attract physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals to the region. Physicians and nurse practitioners are looking for clinics with multiple providers working in a team with other healthcare professionals,” said Tracy St. Claire, the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice (SOS DFP). “They also want meaningful involvement in decision-making, but without responsibility for day-to-day business management.”
26 people infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey emergency shelter
CBC News: Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Surrey Emergency Response Centre after two staff members and 24 clients tested positive for the virus. The unused rec centre was set up as an emergency space last April able to shelter up to 110 homeless people needing to self-isolate during the pandemic. Staff and clients are now being screened for symptoms while those who tested positive and their close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.
VIDEO: Chilliwack ER doc runs through pros and cons of various masks
The Chilliwack Progress: One of Chilliwack’s ER doctors has been tapped to explain the pros and cons of different masks. Dr. Marc Greidanus is featured in a short, upbeat video where he tries on and quickly explains each style, from cloth masks to full face shields. He also reminds viewers that the topic is serious. “COVID is real and it’s here,” he says. “We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard.”
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks
Vernon Morning Star: One of Chilliwack’s ER doctors has been tapped to explain the pros and cons of different masks. Dr. Marc Greidanus is featured in a short, upbeat video where he tries on and quickly explains each style, from cloth masks to full face shields. He also reminds viewers that the topic is serious. “COVID is real and it’s here,” he says. “We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard.”
Vancouver Northeast Urgent and Primary Care Centre opening soon
Voiceonline.ca: People living in northeast Vancouver will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with the opening of a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) on February 16 located at 102-2788 East Hastings Street. “The northeast Vancouver UPCC will help connect more people in Hastings Sunrise, Renfrew Collingwood and Cedar Cottage with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This means tens of thousands of area residents, including those living in poverty, families and seniors with complex care needs, who currently lack a primary care provider, will benefit from increased access to same day and ongoing primary care closer to home.”
Burnaby COVID-19 outbreak that killed 30 people declared over
Vancouver is Awesome: Fraser Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak over at AgeCare Harmony Court in Burnaby. The outbreak has been one of the city’s deadliest. According to data posted by the BC Centre for Disease Control, the outbreak began on Nov. 19, 2020 and resulted in a total of 116 cases, with 73 involving residents of the long-term care centre and 43 cases involving staff. Out of the 73 residents who tested positive, 30 died, said the BCCDC.
Oliver mayor 'disappointed' hospital board not funding clinics
Yahoo News: Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen is disappointed in a recent decision by the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District to not fund primary care clinics and physician recruitment with property taxes. Johansen supported the hospital district helping fund primary care clinics, however after a discussion spanning nearly two years the district voted for their funding model to stay the same at their Jan. 7 meeting.
South Okanagan hospital district decision not the end for clinic funding chances
Vernon Morning Star: For years there has been a need for more doctors in the region, but on Jan. 9, the South Okanagan Similkameen Hospital District board voted to maintain their current financial model instead of budgeting for recruitment. The staff recommendation that was presented included a line that specifically noted the model does not include funding clinics to facilitate physician recruitment, a line that was removed from the motion the board ended up passing.
Town of Oliver continuing to work on their own clinic plans after RDOS denies funding
Castanet: It seems South Okanagan communities will have to continue to work on their own to attract physicians and construct primary care centres after the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District voted not to provide funding for them. When the RDOS met on Thursday, many of the board members were still on opposing sides of the decision.
‘I’m afraid for my life’: Okanagan woman renews calls to solve doctor shortage
Global News: Lynne Karch moved to the Penticton area from Calgary a few months ago to care for her aging mother and enjoy an enhanced quality of life. But she had a rude awakening when trying to find a family doctor. “It is very frightening for me, I am actually scared,” she said.
RDOS staff recommend board vote not to fund primary care facilities, despite shortage of incoming family doctors
Castanet: After over a year of ongoing discussions, staff at the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District are recommending that the board decline to get involved with funding new primary care clinics in the region or recruiting new family physicians. The board has vacillated in the past over whether to change their funding model and get involved, on the one hand noting a dire shortage of family doctors in South Okanagan communities, but on the other reluctant to hike local taxes to pay for helping provide primary care facilities.
New Westminster Record: If you made New Year's Resolutions for 2020, you had the best excuse for not keeping them up beyond March. The pandemic – and the continuous upheaval to our healthiest routines – sabotaged our plans, rearranged our goals and restricted the many joys of daily life. With any other year, I would sit down with my family to review the old calendar. We would be surprised with what has happened in the span of just one year. The media recapitulates the big world events with retrospective spins, but what matters most to you and me are our personal experiences.
Why we’re seeing fewer COVID-19 cases, and other reflections about the state of Island Health
Times Colonist: COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live and connect with each other in ways we never would have imagined just one year ago. Island Health has risen to the challenge by continuing to provide health and care, while responding to a pandemic and an incredibly challenging opioid overdose crisis. As we look back at the past year — and look ahead to the year to come — we must pause to remember those we lost — the grandparents, parents, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends — from these two public health emergencies.
More family doctors taking patients in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: People looking for family doctors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have a few options. “We are thrilled that we have successfully recruited three new physicians and two nurse practitioners to our community as we know there are many residents looking for a family doctor or nurse practitioner,” said Dr. Melodie Prem-Smith, chair of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice.
Overdose prevention task force says suboxone coming to emergency room
Coast Reporter: In a Dec. 23 community update, the Sunshine Coast’s Overdose Prevention Task Force said hospital emergency room health-care professionals will be prescribing blister packs of the opioid replacement drug suboxone starting in 2021. “This time of year has our minds on those who are less fortunate and those who have been impacted the most by COVID-19 and the opioid crisis,” said the update.
SC COVID Task Force doctors honoured as ‘unsung heroes’
Coast Reporter: The B.C. College of Family Physicians has recognized members of the Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force with College Coins. Roberts Creek resident Dr. Michael Klein, family practice and paediatrics emeritus professor at UBC, nominated the individual doctors and they were officially recognized by the regulatory body on Dec. 7, along with 36 other family physicians across the province.
Dishing out holiday cheer at the COVID testing site in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: Vehicles adorned in holiday decorations drove through the Ridge Meadows COVID Testing Site on Monday for an impromptu thank you parade. Staff members from the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice put on the parade to thank the front-line workers for their efforts. “We are so thankful for the work of the Fraser Health staff at the testing site,” said Division of Family Practice executive director, Treena Innes.
Voiceonline.ca: Fraser Health on Tuesday declared a new outbreak at Burnaby Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. Three patients at Burnaby Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak is limited to the medicine unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions. The hospital, including the Emergency Department, remains fully operational.
Surrey private school closes after 30 COVID-19 cases confirmed
CBC News: Fraser Health has confirmed an outbreak at Regent Christian Academy, a private school in Surrey, B.C. The health authority confirmed Friday that 30 positive COVID-19 cases had been confirmed at the school, which offers primary, middle, secondary and international school programs. Fraser Health said in a release that the school will be closing and switching to remote learning until Dec. 18, when students go on their winter breaks.
Letters Dec. 9: Farming at Sandown; COVID-19 testing; playing nice
Times Colonist: Re: “Desperate for care, patients crash clinic’s website,” Dec. 3. To all the people who hoped to attach to our clinic, please be assured help is on the way. Health Care on Yates is a new team-based primary care clinic and despite our technical troubles, we will continue to accept new patients as expeditiously as possible.
New West residents can get medical care from new virtual clinic
New Westminster Record: New Westminster residents who don’t have a family doctor can get care from a new virtual medical clinic. The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice has launched the clinic for patients in New Westminster and the Tri-Cities. It will give patients a virtual appointment with a family physician in the region. “With this service, we want to provide timely access to care for patients who might not have anywhere else to go,” said Dr. Nimeera Kassam, physician lead for the virtual clinic, in a press release from the Division of Family Practice.
Pacific Rim Hospice Society seeking feedback from Older Adults
Westerly News: Calling all Older Adults (55+) from Hesquiaht to Macoah, Tofino, Ucluelet and Area “C”: Pacific Rim Hospice Society in collaboration with the West Coast Senior Services Network would love to hear from you. A survey is underway to unearth ways to help Older Adults live healthier and happier at home in their west coast communities. Pacific Rim Hospice Society Research Assistant Janine Croxall said since launching the survey on Nov. 16 she has received 78 responses. She wants to connect with more Older Adults, especially those voices who aren’t being heard.
New geriatrics team to help seniors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: A new team in support of seniors’ health has been launched at the Ridge Meadows Wellness Centre. The Seniors Service Team was formed over the past year and is geared to improving the quality of life for pre-frail and frail, medically complex seniors. Prior to this team being formed elderly patients would be referred to the New Westminster or Abbotsford Geriatric Clinics.
Penticton Herald: With all the bells and whistles included, building a new community health and wellness centre in Summerland is expected to cost $60 million, council heard Monday. Elected officials were presented with a draft needs assessment for the facility that was based on extensive public engagement efforts conducted by consultants and district staff over the past several months. Originally conceived as a replacement for the failing Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre, the project scope has expanded over time to potentially include a new high school gym, medical centre, tennis courts and daycare.
Fraser Health to open COVID-19 test collection centre in South Surrey on December 8
Voiceonline.ca: Fraser Health will open a new COVID-19 test collection centre in South Surrey on December 8 as part of its planned expansion to provide timely access to COVID-19 testing for those who are experiencing even mild symptoms.
Opinion: We can’t just sit around waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine to save us
New Westminster Record: In February, when celebrating her 100th birthday with her family, my patient, Helen (not her real name) continued to thrive while managing her chronic health conditions. The pandemic changed all that. She wasn’t infected with COVID-19. Her assisted living facility made every effort to protect its residents. However, this meant an end to all social activities and visitors. By June, I learned of Helen’s profound functional decline. She had lost weight, fell frequently and was no longer able to stand on her own. Her daughter, an experienced nurse recognized that she was in a potentially irreversible decline.
Delta Optimist: The surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted Delta council to go back to having all its meetings available online-only for the public. The change was announced at council’s regular meeting on Monday when it was noted it’s going to be that way for the foreseeable future beginning Dec. 1.
New Okanagan Indian Band primary care clinic now accepting patients
Vernon Morning Star: A new primary care clinic on Okanagan Indian Band land is now accepting patients. Located at the OKIB Health Centre off Head of the Lake Road, the clinic aims to provide OKIB members with easier access to culturally safe care. The clinic has a doctor on reserve Tuesdays and Thursdays, and is open by appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those days.
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak over at Royal Columbian Hospital
Voiceonline.ca: Fraser Health on Wednesday declared the COVID-19 outbreak over at Royal Columbian Hospital. With the implementation of comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in acute sites, there are no longer any COVID-19 cases at this location, it said.
A Look at the COVID-19 Testing Centre at KPU Langley Campus
The Runner: In an effort to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University has dedicated space for a testing centre at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Langley campus. The facility is a partnership between Fraser Health and the Langley Division of Family Practice, and is one of 11 centres throughout the region. It first opened in September and operates seven days a week, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, providing about 325 tests daily. It runs on a six-lane drive-through model, and while walk-in appointments are permitted, people are encouraged to book an appointment online.Testing capacity has doubled in Langley since it opened.
Group of doctors, midwives and nurses offering free online sessions to expectant mothers, new moms in the Kamloops-Thompson region
Castanet: A Kamloops-based maternity group has launched an online program to help families who recently had a baby and those who are expecting during COVID-19. Thompson Region Division of Family Practice, made up of doctors, midwives and registered nurses, is offering free Zoom education sessions, which cover topics like infant feeding, first aid and postpartum body health. Guest speakers, including a physiotherapist, lactation consultant and psychiatrist, will also bring maternity-related information to the sessions.
Celebrate milestones, festivals and celebrations differently this year says Fraser Health
Delta Optimist: As COVID-19 cases continue to rapidly increase in the region, Fraser Health is asking people in our communities to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from COVID-19 transmission by honouring momentous occasions differently this year. “It’s important to use good COVID-19 sense, follow the new provincial health officer orders that limit social interactions and travel, and find safe ways to observe the many cultural celebrations and festivals taking place at this time of the year,” said Fraser Health in a news release. “We know there are many occasions to be celebrated at this time of year, including Diwali and Karwa Chauth. We can honour these days and still keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”
Outdoor flu shot clinics are coming to New Westminster
New Westminster: If you haven’t yet managed to get a flu shot, good news: Two outdoor flu clinics are coming to New Westminster. To help meet high demand for flu shots this season in the face of COVID-19, the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice is offering outdoor clinics in parking lots in New West and the Tri-Cities.
Fraser Health opening second COVID-19 test collection centre in Surrey
Voiceonline: Fraser Health is opening a second test collection centre in North Surrey on November 12. This centre is a component of Fraser Health’s planned expansion to provide timely access to COVID-19 testing for those who are experiencing even mild symptoms.
More than 1,200 Deltans vaccinated at community clinic
Delta Optimist: Thousands of Deltans will have the volunteer hours of Delta medical practitioners to thank for answering the increased call for flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Delta Division of Family Practice, in partnership with the City of Delta, Delta Police, Fraser Health and Public Health have coordinated four mass vaccination clinics at the Harris Barn in Ladner. There are two more clinics left which will be held from 12 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 7.
Delta Division of Family Practice: Supporting physicians, supporting health care
Delta Optimist: They’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes trying to improve South Delta residents’ access to local primary care, increase local physicians' influence on health care delivery and policy as well as provide professional support for physicians, especially now during a pandemic. Formed about seven years ago by physicians in South Delta and Doctors of B.C, formerly called the B.C. Medical Association, the Delta Division of Family Practice is a membership organization supporting local physicians.
Nursing survey to address work and recruitment challenges
Alaska Highway News: The Peace River Regional District will be surveying nurses to help address challenges and increase recruitment to the region. The PRRD board approved establishing a survey at their Oct. 22 meeting, which will be created in partnership with Northern Health and the BC Nurses’ Union.
100,000 doses of flu shot to be given out in Tri-City outdoor clinics
Tri-City News: Tri-City doctors and pharmacists are ramping up the distribution of flu vaccines and will be vaccinating the public at two outdoor clinics — one each in Port Coquitlam and Port Moody — beginning Nov. 2. The goal is to encourage people to get their shot by making it easy and to provide safer ways for people to get it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tri-Cities doctors look to improve care with new surveys
Tri-City News: A local group of family physicians is looking for residents to participate in a series of surveys to improve how health care is delivered across the Tri-Cities and New Westminster. The nine surveys aim to capture a variety of perceptions and experiences of people dealing with chronic pain, cancer and challenges with mental health and substance use. Other surveys focus on how pregnant mothers have interacted with health care services and how families or patients have navigated end-of-life care.
Vernon Morning Star: Flu season is here and there is an increase in people looking to get immunized, so a Kelowna clinic got creative in how it prepares people for the seasonal flu. CGB Medical director and family physician Dr. Janet Evans said with physical distancing and disinfecting requirements, coupled with an increased demand for vaccinations, giving people the flu shot in the office just wasn’t ideal.
Kelowna doctor creates innovative solution to vaccinating during pandemic
Castanet: A Kelowna doctor has come up with an innovative way to immunize her patients with this year's influenza vaccine with a drive-through vaccination clinic. CGB Medical family physician Dr. Janet Evans says her team needed an alternative way to vaccinate this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. As their office doesn't allow for separate entry and exit points, or the social distancing required to accommodate large numbers of patients, the team instead took inspiration from an Australian clinic who gave the concept a go.
Times Colonist: COVID-19 assessment and test collection is now available at the Powell River Complex Clinic, a new site opened by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Powell River Division of Family Practice (PRDoFP). Located on the upper level of Powell River Recreation Complex, the clinic will provide additional capacity to assess local residents for COVID-19.
Parksville Qualicum Beach News: Qualicum Beach is going to have a new health care facility. The Flowerstone Family Health Clinic, located at Unit 1B-219 Fern Road is set to open this month and will use a nurse practitioner-led model that offers patient-centered, continuous, comprehensive and co-ordinated care with a focus on all life stages of care.
Online booking available for all Fraser Health COVID-19 test collection centres
Delta Optimist: Online booking for all Fraser Health COVID-19 test collection centres is now available for people who want to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test.Testing is available for those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and those who have been sent for testing by a physician or Public Health.
Powell River doctors reinforce message during the pandemic
Powell River Peak: As COVID-19 has arrived in our community, we have entered a new phase of the pandemic, and it’s one that requires each of us to find courage, patience and tolerance when that is perhaps the most difficult thing to do. We learned last week that Dr. Bonnie Henry is not only experiencing harassment from some members of the public, but also death threats. While Dr. Henry is internationally recognized, both for her expertise in public health and her compassionate leadership, she was reportedly not surprised by these abuses. Her famous saying: “Be kind, be calm and be safe” no longer appears to be simply an inspiring slogan; it’s also a warning.
COVID-19 testing continues in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Voice Online: Fraser Health said on Wednesday that COVID-19 testing continues to be available at the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Test Collection Centre to ensure timely access to testing for those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The test collection centre was previously co-located with the Ridge Meadows Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC), which has moved to its permanent location in the Ridge Meadows Wellness Centre.
Penticton Herald: Penticton’s loss could be Summerland’s gain. As the City of Penticton continues dragging its heels on a request to make good on a 14-year-old promise to build new indoor tennis courts, the District of Summerland has an opportunity to corner the market, council was told at its meeting Monday. “There’s no indoor tennis anywhere in the South Okanagan. There are facilities in Kelowna, there’s a facility in Vernon, there’s a facility in Kamloops, but there’s nothing (in Summerland) and to the south of us,” said Bill Everitt, past-president of Summerland’s Lakeshore Raquets Club
Fraser Health expands COVID-19 testing and collection in Abbotsford
Voice Online: In partnership with the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice, the City of Abbotsford, and the University of the Fraser Valley, Fraser Health has relocated its Abbotsford test collection centre to a new location in Abbotsford that will increase the testing capacity by almost five times. This expanded test collection centre will meet the needs of the community by providing timely access to COVID-19 testing for those who are experiencing symptoms. The new test collection centre opens on Wednesday.
Castanet: Planning is now underway to establish a Primary Care Network (PCN) within the Osoyoos Indian Band. The Syilx Okanagan Nation Chief’s Executive Council announced their support of the province’s recent implementation of PCNs in a press release on Sept. 25 — which noted planning is underway to bring a network of primary care service providers to South Okanagan and Similkameen Indigenous communities.
Vernon Morning Star: To help ensure access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fraser Health is encouraging people to use Fraser Health Virtual Care to connect them to health services in their communities. Fraser Health Virtual Care provides a gateway to phone and videoconference-based health services, helping people find the right service in a timely manner from the comfort of their own home.
Primary Care Networks coming for Okanagan Nation Alliance communities
Vernon Morning Star: The Okanagan Nation Alliance is celebrating the announcement of a new set of Primary Care Networks (PCN) in several of their communities, something they say is crucial to the ongoing health of their members. This comes after B.C. Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, announced Sept. 15 that numerous primary care networks would be implemented in parts of B.C. over the next three years.
'Burnt out' doctors forced to shutter only Tri-Cities COVID-19 testing clinic
Tri-City News: The only COVID-19 testing clinic operating in the Tri-Cities is shutting its doors next week, citing a lack of staff and resources. The Influenza Like Illness Assessment Clinic in Port Coquitlam is set to close Friday Oct. 2 at a time when active cases of the virus have reached levels not seen since the pandemic first started in British Columbia.
Tri-Cities to get new urgent and primary care centre
Tri-City News: Tri-Cities residents in need of medical attention will soon have access to a new health care centre after the province announced it was looking to ease pressure on local emergency departments. The urgent and primary care centre (UPCC), which will open yet determined temporary location in February 2021, will be focused on offering residents of Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam both the long-term day-to-day health care of a family doctor as well as serving those who need to be treated within 12 to 24 hours, according to a written statement from the province.
Fraser Health opens new COVID-19 testing centre in Surrey
CBC: Fraser Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing centre in Surrey that is expected to triple the testing capacity of the previous primary facility, and relocate the majority of testing from the Surrey-Whalley Urgent and Primary Care Centre. The testing centre, which opened Friday, is located at 14577 66 Avenue and will reportedly be able to conduct up to 800 COVID-19 tests per day. The centre, which is a partnership between the health authority and the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
CTV News: The province’s 20th urgent and primary care centre will open in the Saanich area in November, the B.C. government announced Friday. Urgent and primary care centres (UPCC) offer medical services for urgent needs that require medical treatment within 12 to 24 hours, such as minor cuts or burns, sprains, ear infections or urinary problems. UPCCs also offer virtual care appointments and help connect people with a primary care provider if they do not currently have one.
5 new primary care networks coming to Vancouver Island
CTV News: Dramatic changes are coming to health-care services on Vancouver Island, the B.C. government announced Tuesday. Five new primary care networks are coming to the Comox Valley, Cowichan, Oceanside, Saanich Peninsula and the Western Communities. Primary care networks connect care providers, such as doctors and nurse practitioners, with residents of an area. The B.C. government says that this will help connect people who do not have a regular primary care provider, like a family doctor, with one in their community.
Urgent and Primary Care Centre planned for Saanich; nurse-practitioner clinic launching on Yates
Times Colonist: An Urgent and Primary Care Centre is expected to open on Chatterton Way in Saanich in November. The province is expected to make the announcement today, along with launching a new primary care clinic operated by nurse practitioners on Yates Street, set to open Sept. 28.
Health ministry to hire 33 new practitioners for Kootenay Boundary
Grand Forks Gazette: A $5.3-million program to bring 33 full-time health-care providers to the Kootenay Boundary over the next three years was announced Tuesday by the Ministry of Health. The program will set up a network to serve approximately 15,250 people who don’t have a primary care provider in the Nelson, Trail, Castlegar, Nakusp, Kaslo, Grand Forks and Salmo areas.
Primary care network to provide faster care for Oceanside residents
Nanaimo News Now: More direct health services are in bound for the Oceanside area.The Ministry of Health have announced more than 23 full-time health providers will be funded in the area over the next four years. Evelyn Clark, executive director of the Central Island Division of Family Practice, said funding a wide-array of professionals will help those who need it most.
Delta Optimist: Delta’s testing site is busier than ever as active COVID-19 cases in B.C. are at an all-time high. The Delta Division of Family Practice, in partnership with Fraser Health, established the testing and collection site a few months ago. The site is located at the Delta South Home Health Office at the side of City Hall in Ladner.
Province releases details of 3 'primary-care networks' coming to Central Okanagan
Castanet: More details have been released on nearly $12M in healthcare funding for the Central Okanagan announced by the provincial government on Tuesday. The B.C. government says over the next four years, three “primary care networks” will be launched in the region, in Central Kelowna, Rutland/Lake Country and West Kelowna/Peachland. The networks will bring 79 new full-time health care providers to the region, such as family physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and allied health professionals such as social workers, mental health counsellors, a dietitian and Indigenous health co-ordinators. The networks will aim to reach 28,580 people in the region who currently don’t have access to a primary care provider. The team-based care teams will allow healthcare workers to collaborate and focus on their respective areas of expertise.
About 660 new full-time equivalent health professionals will be part of 22 primary care networks
Voice Online: Approximately 660 new full-time equivalent health professionals will be part of 22 primary care networks coming soon throughout the province. “As part of our primary care strategy, we’re putting networks of health professionals at the centre of our primary care transformation, making life better for everyone in B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Tuesday. “By adding 22 more primary care networks to the 17 already announced, more people will benefit from a seamless patient-centred experience that meets their unique health needs.”
B.C. to add team-based primary care networks for patients without family doctors
CBC: The B.C. government is adding 22 primary care networks in 13 regions where teams of health professionals will provide services for patients without a family doctor. The networks connect care providers including doctors and nurse practitioners in a particular area with an aim to provide faster service. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the new networks in regions such as the central Okanagan and the East Kootenays will be added over the next three years to 17 that already exist.
B.C. government announces 22 new primary health-care networks
Vancouver Sun: The B.C. government has announced $78.5 million in funding for 22 additional primary health-care networks in 13 regions. The primary care networks will be in Comox, South Vancouver Island, Cowichan, Oceanside, White Rock/South Surrey, Chilliwack/Fraser Rural, Mission, Central Okanagan, Central Interior Rural, Kootenay Boundary, East Kootenay and Vancouver.
How BC Can Fix Primary Health Care, With or Without Corporations
The Tyee: To describe the way he practises medicine, Baldev Sanghera gives the example of a teenager who comes into his Burnaby clinic seeking help with acne. Sanghera would treat the skin problem. But he says he’d also be attentive to the patient’s anxiety that goes along with it. He would take the opportunity to talk with them about mental health, self-esteem and confidence. If more is going on, he might talk about linking the teen with a school counsellor or teachers to help with educational supports or discuss sexual health.
Looking for a family doctor in the Tri-Cities? This waitlist will help
Tri-City News: Finding a family doctor in the Tri-Cities just got a little easier. The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice, which covers the Tri-Cities and New Westminster, has launched a Patient Attachment Waitlist. Anyone looking for a primary care provider – a family doctor or nurse practitioner – can sign up on the waitlist until a match is found in their area.
The Squamish Chief: When the Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice first opened their drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Shady Tree Pub, they tried to keep it quiet while they figured out how, exactly, to best provide care from the makeshift site. But someone with “nothing but good intentions” posted the news on Facebook.
Urgent and primary care centre announced for West Kelowna
Global News: An urgent and primary care centre will soon be coming to West Kelowna. The provincial government announced the news on Tuesday afternoon. The centre will be located at 2484 Main Street, and will be opening in November.
Why Are Corporations Moving into Health Care? Doctors Say It’s the System’s Fault
The Tyee: Maryam Zeineddin is a family physician and the co-owner of a West Vancouver clinic that provides traditional primary care. She and the seven other doctors working at the Ambleside Medical Centre no longer deliver babies, but otherwise they provide a wide variety of care over the course of each patient’s lifetime. They even make house calls. It’s a model of care that has been disappearing, and Zeineddin said it’s difficult to sustain. The clinic’s overhead keeps going up, but the fees the government pays physicians to provide services do not.
Penticton Herald: We hear a lot about how important it is that policy and decision makers engage with the public; that transparency and consultation is an expectation; and that communication is critical in building and fostering relationships. “Community engagement is a process through which community members are empowered to own the change they want to see and involves communication, problem-solving, governance, and decision-making skills and strategies” (Policy Link & Kirwan Institute, 2012, District of Summerland).
Maintaining learning groups in out-of-school care ‘unrealistic,’ say Coquitlam care providers
Tri-City News: Daycare centres across the Tri-Cities are warning the “learning group” model designed to keep students in bubbles and stem the transmission of COVID-19 in B.C. schools is “unrealistic” outside of school hours. That message comes the on the same day all of British Columbia’s 60 school districts were required to post their school reopening plans ahead of the Sept. 10 back-to-school start date.
The Squamish Chief: Whistler will soon have a COVID assessment trailer to help local doctors accommodate increased testing for COVID- 19. The new trailer is a result of a collaboration between the Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), said Dr. Bruce Mohr, the medical director of the Whistler Health Care Centre.
New COVID-19 testing centre opens in North Vancouver
Powell River Peak: A new COVID-19 assessment centre has officially opened on the North Shore. The new centre is located in the parking lot of Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver and can accommodate both walk-in and drive-through visitors, according to Vancouver Coastal Health.
Fraser Health expanding access to COVID-19 assessment and testing
Delta Optimist: In response to increased demand for COVID-19 assessment and testing across the region, Fraser Health has expanded access to these services, and is planning further enhancements over the coming days and weeks to help ensure people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can quickly receive a COVID-19 assessment and test if they need one.
Fraser Health expanding access to COVID-19 assessment and testing
Delta Optimist: In response to increased demand for COVID-19 assessment and testing across the region, Fraser Health has expanded access to these services, and is planning further enhancements over the coming days and weeks to help ensure people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can quickly receive a COVID-19 assessment and test if they need one.
Cranbrook Virtual Walk-in Clinic still operational
e-know.ca: The EK Division of Family Practice, led by community physicians, established the Cranbrook Virtual Walk-in clinic for patients without a family physician, in response to the new virus threats in April. The goal was to support patients without a family physician with their primary care needs, including possible COVID-19 symptoms, which prevented patients from going to the Emergency Department unnecessarily.
COVID spurred greater cooperation between orgs in Burnaby: advocate
Powell River Peak: A Burnaby homeless advocate says she’s seen exceptional levels of cooperation between service providers, as the coronavirus pandemic adds more and more pressure on the organizations. Carol-Ann Flanagan, coordinator of the city’s task force to end homelessness, said she’s been seeing more people seeking services during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has locked down or significantly hampered large chunks of the economy.
New nurse practitioner primary care clinic coming to Surrey
Voiceonline.ca: Patients can register on Monday, August 10 to be attached to a new nurse practitioner primary care clinic that will open in Surrey on September 8. The Province is launching Axis Primary Care Clinic, in collaboration with the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC, Fraser Health and the Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice, to provide team-based primary care services to residents.
North Shore News: The North Shore’s healthcare apparatus is staffing up, big time. Health Minister Adrian Dix was at Lions Gate Hospital Wednesday to announced $11.5 million in annual funding to hire doctors, nurses and other health professionals to service North Shore residents who don’t have access to a family physician.
B.C. funds 62 new health care positions on Metro Vancouver's North Shore
CBC News: The B.C. government is expanding primary care services on the North Shore, with 62 full-time equivalent positions being added, and about $11 million invested over five years. Health Minister Adrian Dix made the announcement in North Vancouver on Wednesday. "Health professionals work in teams. They'll build out from the network of health care and primary care we have today to improve primary care in every part of the North Shore," said Dix. There are currently 27,975 people living in North and West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lions Bay who do not have family physicians. They'll be served by this expansion within the next five years, according to Dix, who said there were 33,000 people in the area unattached to primary care when he took office in 2017.
Penticton Herald: What’s in a community hub? Tell the district. Public consultation will begin later this month to help figure out what should go into a new Summerland community recreation and health centre. Outreach conducted by a consulting firm will begin with stakeholder questionnaires and workshop in late August, followed by a public survey and workshop in September.
Community engagement begins for Summerland recreation and health centre
Vernon Morning Star: The municipality of Summerland is beginning its community consultation for the proposed Summerland Community Recreation and Health Centre. On Monday, July 27, Summerland council was presented the proposed Public Engagement Strategy for the Summerland Community Recreation and Health Centre by the project consultants from Carscadden and Lees. The municipality had earlier identified the need for replacing the existing Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre and exploring the inclusion of a primary care health centre.
Esquimalt getting new urgent and primary care centre
Times Colonist: A new urgent and primary care centre is coming to Esquimalt, where there’s just one medical clinic and 65 per cent of residents say they don’t have a family doctor. B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix will announce plans Friday for the fifth such health centre on Vancouver Island. It’s expected to open by spring.
Kootenay Boundary introduces new tools for chronic pain patients and healthcare providers
Trail Times: Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice announced that it has launched a new set of tools to support patients living with chronic pain. Patients and their healthcare providers can now easily access information on referrals, services, education, self-management support, and more. These have been developed as part of the Kootenay Boundary Shared Care Chronic Pain Project, with the input and guidance of local physicians, allied health care practitioners, and patient partners living with chronic pain.
New task force seeks ‘full support’ from VCH to curb overdose deaths
Coast Reporter: A group of doctors on the Sunshine Coast has launched a task force to address the opioid overdose epidemic that’s grown deadlier because of COVID-19. The new Overdose Prevention Task Force had its first meeting June 30 and is overseen by Dr. Joerg Jaschinski, the clinical lead at Sechelt Hospital’s substance use disorder clinic.
Tri-City News: Family doctors from across the Tri-Cities and New Westminster have launched a new virtual hub for maternity care after concerns around the transmission of COVID-19 was delaying vaccinations. The new virtual portal acts as a local guide for maternity care in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, as well as Anmore, Belcarra and New Westminster, and offers information on care providers, clinics, and vaccinations.
Letters to the Editor: Assessment Centre sends its thanks
Penticton Herald: Dear Editor: As we reflect on the past three months, we owe a shout out to our community for rallying behind primary-care providers to set up a Primary Care Assessment Centre in Penticton. The Assessment Centre allows us to care for patients across the South Okanagan Similkameen who still needed in-person appointments. It remains a vital part of our local preventative approach which is helping to lower transmission rates during the pandemic. And it protects our supplies of personal protective equipment.
Vancouver Island’s first nurse practitioner clinic opens in Nanaimo
CTV News: Vancouver Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic is opening in Nanaimo on Tuesday. The health facility will be operated by a team of nurse practitioners who can respond to a range of medical needs, including “diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medications and performing medical procedures,” according to the B.C. government.
Some family doctors in B.C. now accepting new patients
CTV News: For the first time in years, if you ask a family doctor in Metro Vancouver if they can take you on as a patient you actually have a good chance of hearing "yes." Several general practitioners and the professional association Doctors of BC all tell CTV News that patient rosters are opening up for the first time in years due to two factors: a slowdown in visits to doctors overall, and the efficiencies found in virtual health-care services that expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chemainus Secondary grads cash in on scholarship and bursary money
Chemainus Valley Courier: Scholarships and bursaries weren’t presented in the same manner to Chemainus Secondary School 2020 grads, but the money still got into the right hands and will be put to good use for post-secondary education. Representatives of the various donor groups couldn’t be present for the grad ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions. But all were pleased to provide students with the much-needed funding for their efforts, even if it was done in spirit only.
Coast Reporter: An unsanctioned pop-up safe consumption site has been operating on and off out of an empty lot across from the Hightide Supportive Housing complex in Sechelt since last Saturday. The makeshift site on Hightide Avenue is covered with a blue tarp. On a folding table inside, syringes, gloves and tourniquets are arranged on paper towels. Sharps containers rest behind them. Pipes are available, so are masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, and the opioid overdose-reversing agent Naloxone.
Healthcare racism investigation should go beyond “bad apples” to systemic roots, says Indigenous doctor
Rocky Mountain Goat: Dr. Terri Aldred doesn’t recall her time in medical school altogether fondly. “I grew up in a very remote place. I was very poor. I’m indigenous and I’m a woman,” said the member of Tl’Azt’En Nation who practices primary care medicine in Indigenous communities in northern B.C. “I didn’t have an easy go of it.” Particularly demoralizing was the so-called ‘soft racism’ or microaggressions. “It was kind of from all angles, in a lot of ways.”
Tele-health model emerges during COVID-19 pandemic
Delta Optimist: A shift in the way health care is provided in South Delta has been a positive amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jennifer Rogerson, who has her family practice (Harvest Drive Family Practice) in Ladner, and provides primary care at the Richmond Hospital Birth Centre, said she and her colleagues have had to move quickly and shift as the pandemic has changed to ensure that all their patients are receiving the highest care possible.
RDEK approves grant funding for regional family physician recruitment
Cranbrook Daily Townsman: A local group is looking to increase recruitment of more family physicians to Cranbrook and the surrounding regional communities, and has gotten some help from the Regional District of East Kootenay. The RDEK recently approved a funding request from the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, which asked for $10,000 this year and $15,000 next year to support ongoing recruitment and retention efforts of family physicians to the area.
Delta Optimist: A Delta mental health strategy, tangible steps towards First Nations reconciliation and a youth centre. Those were ideas put forward for further discussion by the Delta Child and Youth Committee, a group of non-profit, government and community agencies and organizations that work to improve the lives of children, youth and families in Delta.
Sooke clinic expands with $1M yearly boost from province
CTV News: The West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke has received a boost from the provincial government to help support local residents. The clinic has completed a renovation and expansion which will allow more health staff to join the island health centre.
Summerland considers replacing aging aquatic centre
Vernon Morning Star: The District of Summerland has identified the need for the replacement of the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre and is considering including a primary health care centre as part of council’s strategic priority. The municipality has completed a procurement process to obtain consulting services to lead a comprehensive community consultation and engagement process and to complete a facility needs assessment.
Opinion: No, this is actually how to wash your hands to stop COVID-19
Burnaby Now: Our province has done well in flattening the curve of the spread of COVID-19 infections compared to other communities throughout North America. We owe much to the wise leadership of Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
EnergeticCity.ca: The North Peace Division of Family Practice was invited before the Peace River Regional District board May 28 to present their findings on the Rural Fort St John Residency Program. Four residents took part in the program this year, but only two were ready to graduate. Both are staying in Fort St John.
Local doctors express gratitude for community vigilance in the midst of COVID-19
CFJC Today: A pair of local doctors say they’re thankful for the way the community has come on board with guidelines set out by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The rate of new cases of COVID-19 has slowed down in the Interior Health region.
Kamloops doctors applaud public’s response to COVID-19
Kamloops This Week: Doctors throughout Kamloops and the Thompson region are recognizing the successful efforts of area residents to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. “We have seen incredible buy-in locally,” said Dr. Elizabeth Parfitt, infectious disease specialist at Royal Inland Hospital.
Second urgent and primary care centre opens in Surrey
Voiceonline: People in Surrey will now have better access to same-day urgent and primary care with the opening of a second new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) in Newton. “The new Surrey urgent and primary care centre will connect people who don’t have a family doctor with the health care they need,” said Premier John Horgan. “This is one of 17 urgent and primary care centres opened in communities around the province, along with new and upgraded hospitals and primary care networks that will deliver better, faster health care to all British Columbians.”
VIU Donates Critical Health Supplies During Covid-19 Crisis
VIU: As COVID-19 quickly spread around the world and critical health supplies became scarce, Vancouver Island University (VIU) employees have found ways to help protect frontline responders and their colleagues on campus providing essential services. “Universities have enormous intellectual capacity and the physical resources, space and laboratories available to support our communities and society,” says Dr. Erik Krogh, Co-chair of VIU’s Chemistry department. “It’s encouraging to see the degree to which people are collaborating and stepping up to do a variety of things to help out during this crisis.”
CloudMD Clinic Doctor, Tahmeena Ali, Honoured as BC's Top Family Physician
Stockhouse: CloudMD Software & Services Inc. (CSE: DOC, OTCQB: DOCRF, Frankfurt: 6PH) (the “Company” or “CloudMD”), a telemedicine company revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare to patients, is proud to announce that one of their clinics’ doctors, Tahmeena Ali received the BC Family Physician of the Year Award from the BC College of Family Physicians.
Kamloops doctors applaud residents' response to pandemic
Castanet: Doctors in Kamloops are thanking residents for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have seen incredible buy-in locally,” says Dr. Elizabeth Parfitt, Infectious Disease Specialist at Royal Inland Hospital, in a press release. “People paraded us and put up signs on our lawns that brought tears to my eyes, but the public’s efforts are heroic because without their buy-in we wouldn’t be sitting in such a favourable position to meet the challenges of this pandemic."
Burnaby family doctors receive whopping mask donation
Powell River Peak: Burnaby’s four MLAs were joined by Mayor Mike Hurley at the Central Park COVID-19 Primary Care Testing and Treatment Site - a key piece of Burnaby’s Primary Care Networks COVID-19 Response Strategy - to receive a donation of 14,000 masks from Chens Enterprises in support of family doctors in Burnaby. Chens Enterprises has donated more than 120,000 medical masks to local hospitals and the latest donation will support Burnaby’s family doctors to ensure that they are able to continue to safely provide great care to their patients through the course of the pandemic – virtually and in person.
iHeartRadio: Don't know how to connect with your family doctor? Pathways BC Virtual Care Directory is resource that helps you to connect virtually with a medical professional. Dr. Kathy Dabrus, family physician and board member with the Victoria Division of Family Practice joined Adam to talk about this new resource.
Delta Optimist: Just how many Delta residents have been infected by the coronavirus? That what Delta council wants to know as a request will be made directly to Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for Delta-specific numbers, data Mayor George Harvie said he had tried to get from the health region but got nowhere with his request.
Castanet: Primary Care Networks in the South Okanagan have grown since $4.4M in funding was announced by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix in April of 2019. The investment promised funding for the hiring of six new general practitioners, five nurse practitioners and 11 other healthcare professionals to work in the region. It’s been more than a year since the announcement, and Castanet has confirmed that a number of healthcare providers have been brought in to help patients in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
Healthcare workforce grows: Primary Care Network adding health care workers
Castanet: Primary Care Networks in the South Okanagan have grown since $4.4M in funding was announced by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix in April of 2019. The investment promised funding for the hiring of six new general practitioners, five nurse practitioners and 11 other healthcare professionals to work in the region. It’s been more than a year since the announcement, and Castanet has confirmed that a number of healthcare providers have been brought in to help patients in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
Oliver Chronicle: Local physicians are encouraging people not to put off visiting their family doctors during the pandemic. The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice wants people to know that new resources make it easier to connect for regular and ongoing patient care. “Although we are in the midst of a pandemic, all residents are encouraged to continue with their regular health care and book appointments with a family doctor or nurse practitioner,” said communications lead Heather Allen.
South Okanagan family doctors urge patients not to put off visits out of fear of the pandemic
Castanet: In the midst of a pandemic, South Okanagan family doctors want to be sure their patients aren't putting off visiting their physicians out of fear of COVID-19. So the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has gotten involved with a new virtual care directory of doctors offering video and by-phone appointments, as well as any updated clinic hours, for patients to refer to. "We want to make it as easy as possible for patients to continue to book appointments, and get support and treatment for medical concerns – whether this has to do with COVID-like symptoms or not,” said Dr. Tim Phillips, SOS Division of Family Practice physician lead. “This pandemic is not going away tomorrow, so please don’t put off visiting your family doctor for regular care.”
Resources available to connect with doctors during COVID-19 pandemic
Vernon Morning Star: The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice is urging residents to continue with their regular health care appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Care is still available at family medicine and walk-in clinics, with patients being booked for telephone, video and in-person appointments where approriate. Information on virtual care is available online at Pathways, www.pathwaysbcvirtualcare.ca.
Opinion: This doctor details the pitfalls of wearing face masks
Burnaby Now: Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, masks and gloves were donned by my favourite heroes: Batman, Robin and the Lone Ranger. (I’ll include the Green Hornet and Kato for fans of ‘60s TV and Bruce Lee.) Like every other boy, I imagined being a hero, but I never imagined that one day, there would be a pandemic and a surgical mask and rubber gloves would be part of my everyday garb.
Letter-writing campaign aims to increase social connection
Coast Reporter: Sunshine Coast Community Services, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, School District No. 46 and Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice, has launched a campaign aimed at strengthening social connectedness in the community. Dear Coastal Neighbour is a one-way letter-writing initiative that will provide a small, but personal gesture of non-digital connection to those on the Sunshine Coast, many of whom are facing increased isolation, stress, and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coast residents of all ages are invited to put pen to paper and share their stories, pictures, poems, and support.
Port Coquitlam clinic opens to new mothers, babies without a doctor
Tri-City News: A Port Coquitlam clinic has expanded its practice, taking on extra shifts in an effort to become a stop-gap for mothers and their newborns turned away by clinics shuttered due to COVID-19. As family doctors started seeing more and more patients with COVID-19-like symptoms, many have shut their doors because of a lack of personal protective equipment. Without a place to see patients, several doctors have pooled resources at two hubs: one at a COVID-19 testing clinic opposite Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) and another at the Burke Mountain Medical Centre where a parallel practice sees new patients falling through the cracks of a strained medical system.
Former doctor keeping Burnaby newcomers informed about COVID-19
Burnaby Now: Burnaby resident Zarif Akbarian was nine years old when he decided he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. Many of the family members he lived with in his native Afghanistan were sick but had limited access to health care, he said.
From China with love: High school ships 250 masks to Okanagan health-care workers
Vernon Morning Star: A Chinese high school has stepped up to help Okanagan health-care workers in the fight against COVID-19. Sino-Canada High School in Luxu, Jiangsu, China, recently shipped 250 N95 masks to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Division of Family Practice. Doctors and nurses across the province are struggling with the shortage of suitable PPE. The shipment arrived today (May 6) and local practioner Dr. Tim Phillips said it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Comox Valley family doctors tell patients to stay in touch over non-COVID issues
Comox Valley Record: While the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is at the top of everyone’s mind of late, it is not the only health concern for people. Dr. Adam Thompson, COVID-19 physician lead for the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, says there is concern in the medical community that some people are not staying in touch with their family doctors, even if they are not feeling well, out of concern over COVID-19, or perhaps out of a misunderstanding about the availability of their family doctors. This, he says, is a situation in which patients can be risking harm to themselves.
The Daily Dose — Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice
The Nelson Daily: In seven years, the Divisions of Family Practice initiative has become a cornerstone of BC’s primary health care system. In a field as large and complex as health care, the speed and growth of change that has been achieved through divisions is revolutionary. The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice is a community-based non-profit group that bring family doctors together and provide the infrastructure to support them in addressing common needs and health care priorities in the region.
Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice gives voice
The Nelson Daily: As our pale blue dot spins away in the solar system, not that long ago, the thought of feeling insignificant in the vastness of space and the universe didn’t feel so out of touch. The perception of being a single grain of sand in the wholeness of the desert seemed intrinsically real. This is now a fleeting thought in time. Our perception of our world has shifted, the family portrait looks different, our entire way of life has been altered and the winds of change are sculpting a new social paradigm. We are no longer feeling insignificant in the world, we are now feeling deeply empowered. We are in essence all in the desert together, as this crisis unfolds unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime.
Former BCIT students make thousands of PPE items at home for local health-care workers
The Georgia Straight: Two BCIT alumni are using 3-D printers at home to manufacture thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for local frontline health-care workers. Keisha Go amd Jamie Haakons—graduates of BCIT's interior-design and mechanical-engineering programs, respectively—started thinking about making PPE after a pre-lockdown trip to the Philippines. After designing prototypes and turning out the first batches of face shields and ear savers (used to prevent skin irritation from face-mask straps) to be sent from their Coquitlam residence to the Philippines, they learned that international shipments to that country had been halted.
'It’s like running two clinics at the same time,' Port Coquitlam doctors fill gap left by COVID-19
Tri-City News: Ray Croteau is a pandemic regular at the clinic, but he’s got no choice. Without a weekly visit to the Burke Mountain Medical Centre in Port Coquitlam, he wouldn’t have his shot to stimulate the production of red blood cells through his body and help him get through another day.
CTV News: Victoria’s new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) had a soft opening in James Bay Tuesday with eager patients lined up to receive medical attention. The James Bay Urgent and Primary Care Centre will provide the community with urgent and primary care as well as rapid access to mental health treatment. Once fully staffed, the clinic expects to see 50 to 60 patients a day. Island health is working to have the clinic fully staffed within a few months, and plans to attach up to 5000 patients for longitudinal care.
COVID tests are more widely available, but do B.C. clinics have enough supplies to do them?
CTV News: As B.C. aims to increase COVID-19 testing, some doctors are worried about whether community clinics are properly equipped. The province recently broadened its criteria so that patients experiencing mild cold and flu symptoms can get tested. And a family physician told CTV News local clinics are taking appropriate safety measures.
Penticton Herald: After a nearly two-decade push for a new gym at Summerland Secondary School, the ball has finally started bouncing on a replacement, which is already being eyed for much more than just recreational activity. School District 67 trustees heard at their meeting Monday the Ministry of Education has given the go-ahead to prepare a business case for the project. “Unfortunately, the ministry is not committing any money towards our project at this point, but they are allowing us to go do a business case and look at what the cost would be and then compare that to our local and restricted capital funds to see if we have enough to move forward with this project,” explained facilities director Doug Gorcak.
Opinion: Virtual medicine is here to stay in Burnaby
Burnaby Now: Once thought of as the potential future of medicine, virtual healthcare has quickly become the present reality during the pandemic. Telehealth is here to stay – as the major method of delivering medical care for family physicians and other specialists for the next year – and as an important part of care delivery in the future. To reduce the risk of spreading infections, all physicians have been directed to suspend non-urgent nonessential procedures, investigations and in person consultations.
Penticton arena now being used for COVID-19 testing
Global News: Testing for the novel coronavirus is now being conducted at the McLaren Park arena in Penticton. Initially established as an outdoor assessment centre spearheaded by the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, services are being expanded to include COVID-19 testing. The testing site, at 1350 King St., is operational by appointment-only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Previously, testing was being conducted at the local health centre.
Burnaby partnership fights 'brain waste' during pandemic
Burnaby Now: A global pandemic is no time to waste the medical knowledge of internationally trained doctors who haven’t been able to get their Canadian credentials, so an innovative new program operating in Burnaby is putting them to work. The Burnaby Division of Family Practice has partnered with MOSAIC, a Lower Mainland settlement organization, on a program that links recent immigrants and refugees who don't speak English or don’t have access to computers or the internet to medically trained staff and volunteers who can help them navigate the city’s online COVID-19 screening portal at www.burnabycoronavirus.com.
Penticton Herald: A pop-up medical office established in the parking lot of a Penticton arena can now test patients for COVID-19. “The public living or travelling nearby McLaren Park Arena continue to be at no greater risk, as the site allows for all the safety protocols and social distancing measures set out by the BC Centre for Disease Control,” the operator said in a press release this week.
Ricochet: As physical distancing shutters non-essential services like nail salons and restaurants, many members of the Vietnamese diaspora community are bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s economic fallout. The federal government has rolled out support programs, but some people face difficulties accessing them due to language barriers.
UPDATE: Coquitlam chicken plant locked down by Fraser Health
Tri-City News: A Coquitlam poultry processing plant was on lockdown Thursday morning, April 23, as what appeared to be a Fraser Health SWAT team entered the premises donning masks and gloves. On Wednesday, Fraser Health’s top doctor, Dr. Martin Lavoie, told The Tri-City News, “We haven’t identified any crossover.”
Castanet: A temporary outdoor medical facility in McLaren Park Arena in Penticton is now equipped to accommodate COVID-19 screening and testing. The SOS Division of Family Practice is currently operating the centre at the arena, where family physicians and nurse practitioners provide by-appointment primary care to local patients. Until now, it had simply been an assessment centre aimed at dealing with patients' immediate health concerns. But to be prepared for changing circumstances, testing will now take place, starting "soon," according to the association.
e-know.ca: Letter to the Editor: Dear Residents of Cranbrook and Kimberley: First and foremost, we want to thank you all for practicing physical distancing and isolating yourselves when necessary. Although these last few weeks have been trying on us all, we know that it is through limiting spread of this virus that we will make the biggest difference. Healthcare workers still require your support, and we remind you that the battle is far from over.
Stressed, anxious? Free virtual counselling offered in the Tri-Cites
Tri-City News: Those struggling with mental health concerns can now get access to counsellors virtually, thanks to a partnership between Fraser Health and the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice. The Primary Care Network counselling program is now being offered free and virtually, according to the physician’s organization.
Langley family doctors still accessible during COVID-19 crisis
Langley Advance Times:Langley Division of Family Practice wants to remind residents their family doctors are available and ready to see them during the ongoing state of emergency. “We moved all of our clinics, about mid-March, to either phone or virtual just because of COVID and of course now all of those clinics actually are seeing a decline in numbers… we’re just a little worried about people who are dealing with previous medical conditions who might not be seeking care,” said Ellen Petterson, executive director of Langley Division of Family Practice.
Telehealth virtually connecting patients to medical experts
Prince George Citizen: When COVID-19 first reared its ugly head in B.C., a rapid response was needed to help worried citizens who needed answers from qualified sources. People wanted to know if they had the virus, what the symptoms were, and whether they needed to see a doctor or go to the hospital for testing.
Delivery model has changed, but access to care hasn’t
Delta Optimist: The model and methods may have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but getting access to health care in Delta is still as strong as ever. That’s the message from Geri McGrath and The Delta Division of Family Practice as its doctors and nurses continue to provide the care and support in the community.
Pique: Having one's own doctor holds numerous benefits. They know your particular constellation of ailments, you develop a rapport, and you don't have to explain your issues to a new doctor every time you visit the clinic. Moreover, research has shown that access to family physicians leads to better health outcomes for patients and cost savings for healthcare systems. Yet like other communities across the country, Whistler had a dearth of family doctors even before the current health crisis, counting about 10 operating in the community (with some working on a part-time basis or splitting their time between family practice and emergency room care).
How Keremeos residents can access health care during COVID-19 crisis
Keremeos Review: As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice has provided an update for Keremeos residents on how to continue to access primary care. Booking an appointment: Patients needing an appointment with a family doctor in Keremeos are asked to call ahead for care at the South Similkameen Health Centre at 250-499-3000, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The doctor will then determine whether you can be seen over the phone, by video, or if an in-person appointment is required.These measures are meant to reduce the risk to all patients and staff as well as to conserve valuable personal protective equipment for health care providers, which are used every time a patient is seen in clinic or the emergency department for any reason.
North Shore News: While all eyes on the province nervously watch the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s one part of the health care system that’s been eerily quiet – local doctors’ offices. And that’s not necessarily a good thing, say local physicians, who worry that people who should be seeing a doctor might be staying home.
Telehealth virtually connecting patients to medical experts
Prince George Citizen: When COVID-19 first reared its ugly head in B.C., a rapid response was needed to help worried citizens who needed answers from qualified sources. People wanted to know if they had the virus, what the symptoms were, and whether they needed to see a doctor or go to the hospital for testing.
ALONG THE RIVER: First of its kind pop-up clinics rolling out
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: During the COVID-19 crisis, doctors are temporarily offering their patients telephone and videoconferencing appointments. But, at times, they’ll have to see someone in person. Where can that happen safely? Who might mostly need a face-to-face visit with their physician? Enter the Division of Family Practice Care Network (PCN), a non-profit organization of B.C. doctors working with government to improve primary care and physician satisfaction.
Castanet: The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice came up with creative solutions for people working at the new outdoor assessment centre in Penticton, thanks to some community helpers. A donation of washable, reusable medical gowns is helping keep staff safe, and it all started at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis. "It was back around March 20 when we were starting to watch what was happening with preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of best practices pointed at having an outdoor assessment centre and we looked at what that would look like in our community, and what we would need to have staff work safely," said SOS Division of Family Practice executive director Tracy St. Claire.
In UVic lab, printers cut face shields — for a start
Times Colonist: As nine 3D printers in a UVic lab busily tap out parts for medical face shields for Island Health, biomedical engineer Stephanie Willerth’s mind is buzzing with more ways to make and re-use protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think this would be just part of a larger effort to be working with Island Health, now that we have the community together,” said Willerth, a University of Victoria engineering professor and acting director of its biomedical engineering program.
Newborns behind glass as COVID-19 forces isolation
Tri-City News: Andy and Lindsay Huerlimann are planners and so it’s no surprise they stocked up on food and necessities as the birth of their baby loomed. They took pre-natal classes, ordered prescriptions, had a trunk full of supplies for the hospital, organized their house and even set up a spreadsheet to keep track of contractions. But neither Andy, an engineer, nor Lindsay, an occupational therapist at the Centre for Child Development, were prepared for the stress of COVID-19 and how it would prey on their minds as the due date crept closer.
Delta Optimist: It takes a community. We all know that South Delta is an amazing community to call home but in these troubling times, we’ve come together—much like the Delta Community Health Care Foundation was there when we needed them the most. That’s why we wanted to publicly thank them for their financial support, for providing the Delta Division of Family Practice much-needed supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), and for their ongoing help with our community communication.
Kamloops physician encourages use of virtual doctors appointments
CFJC Today: The Thompson Region Division of Family Practice is urging people dealing with medical issues to reach out to their family physicians. “We can help you with a variety of your health needs,” said local family physician Dr. Servaas Swart. “People are so focused on the virus at the moment, neglecting maybe some other health issues. We don’t want you to deteriorate at home while you’re staying safe. Therefore we are urging people be in contact with your nurse practitioner or your family physician so we can address your health needs.”
COVID-19 clinic to ramp up daily check-ins after father dies at home
Tri-City News: A COVID-19 testing clinic run by Tri-City and New Westminster doctors has adjusted the way it follows up with patients following the death of a 47-year-old father in Richmond earlier this week.
Appointments available at Summerland after hours clinic
Vernon Morning Star: Summerland’s family physicians are continuing to provide after hour care in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Appointments will be by phone or by video, with in-person appointments reserved for those who require a physical examination, a memo from the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice states.
How to access health care in Princeton during COVID-19 crisis
The Similkameen Spotlight: This article from the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice explains what to do and where to go in Princeton, should you need to access a family doctor, nurse practitioner, emergency care or other health services. Booking an appointment: Patients needing an appointment with a family doctor in Princeton are asked to call ahead for care at the Cascade Medical Centre, 250-295-4482, between 9 a.m-4 p.m.
Castanet: A Penticton small business was selling N95 masks for $10 each, drawing concerns from the public about price gouging, until Tuesday when Castanet investigated. On Tuesday afternoon, Rocky Store on Haven Hill Road had N95 medical-grade masks for sale individually at its front counter, which is in contravention of provincial rules prohibiting resale of medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis.
Trail Times: Doctors and nurse practitioners in the Kootenay Boundary want you to know they are still open for business. Last week, the organization representing medical professionals serving the Kootenay Boundary said they were concerned patients are not booking appointments when they may need help, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors still seeing patients in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: Walk-in clinics and family doctors are still seeing patients by telephone or by video. Lately Dr. Lakshmikanth Challa and his team at the New Pitt Meadows Medical Clinic have been seeing zero wait times at their clinic and they are concerned. “A lot of people phoning don’t realize that the clinics are still open,” said office manager Terese Lang.
Landlords told COVID-19 clinic to suspend all work immediately due to safety concerns
Tri-City News: A COVID-19 screening clinic run by Tri-City and New Westminster doctors is under pressure after the landlord allegedly called on doctors to halt work at the facility. Kristen Ash, the executive director of the Fraser Northwest Divisions of Family Doctors Practice Society (FNWD), said the owners of the property have confronted workers and accused them of risking the spread of the virus to other tenants.
Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals
Westerly News: Royal Jubilee and Nanaimo Regional General hospitals will be Vancouver Island’s front line hospitals in the battle against COVID-19, with other hospitals being used in a support role. “Island Health’s pandemic plan is to cohort COVID-19 patients requiring a higher level of care to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital as primary COVID hospitals, with local sites used to support,” reads a prepared statement from Island Health.
Opinion: COVID-19 doesn't mean ignoring other health issues
Burnaby Now: Thank you for following our advice by staying home, keeping your distance and washing your hands. Health-care workers and many others in essential services continue to work in the front lines to meet our community’s needs. Our hospital teams appreciate your nightly displays of support.
East Kootenay family doctors now available for telephone, video appointments
Creston Valley Advance: Family physicians across the East Kootenay region are now available for telephone and video care appointments. On April 2, the province announced that B.C. health are workers would be gaining access to virtual health care options as many clinics were forced to close for all non-emergency appointments due to COVID-19.
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site sets up in Burnaby's Central Park
CBC: A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site has been established in Burnaby's Central Park for health care workers and other patients referred by their family doctor. The Burnaby Division of Family Practice, which is coordinating the participating physicians, says this site is part of a comprehensive COVID-19 strategy that Burnaby's primary care partners are rolling out. Among those partners is the City of Burnaby, which is providing the parking lot, Burnaby RCMP are securing the area, and Fraser Health has committed the nursing staff.
Times Colonist: As much of society is shifting to the virtual world to connect amid the COVID-19 crisis, so too are doctors. Many family physicians and walk-in clinics have switched to seeing the majority of patients by video chat to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Penticton Herald: After a years-long struggle with alcohol, all of the answers to Kelly Kahanyshyn’s problems were found at the bottom of a bottle – a pill bottle. “I tell you what, and I say this all the time: I don’t know what $1 million looks like, but I know what it feels like,” said the 53-year-old hairdresser, who started drinking as a teenager and was helpless to stop alcohol from slowly taking over her life.
Penticton Herald: Should the COVID-19 pandemic take a firm grip on the South Okanagan, local health workers will likely run out of personal protective equipment, says one of the doctors on the front lines. “Based on the numbers of expected cases and where the numbers have been elsewhere, we will not have enough personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Jennifer Begin, who heads the family medicine department at Penticton Regional Hospital.
Kootenay Boundary Practitioners concerned patients avoiding making appointments during COVID-19 crisis
The Nelson Daily: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians and nurse practitioners in Kootenay Boundary clinics are concerned patients are not booking appointments when they may need help. Many clinics have seen a drop in the number of appointments and are worried that patients who have health care concerns may be unsure if they can still see their practitoner in the midst of the COVID-19 situation.
Thousands of critical items pouring in to help Nanaimo’s frontline workers
Nanaimo News NOW: There is an overwhelming answer to the call for more personal protection equipment for those on the frontlines in Nanaimo during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice recently launched an online donation platform to accept items in short supply, like medical masks and face shields, hand sanitizer, as well as disposable gowns and gloves.
Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19
Vernon Morning Star: Doctors in Salmon Arm have rallied together to provide a respiratory clinic for the community in response to COVID-19. On Monday, March 30, the Salmon Arm Community Respiratory Triage Clinic opened its doors from 4 to 7 p.m., just as it will be doing from Monday to Friday as long as it’s needed.
Penticton Herald: Tucked away in a not-so-secret location, Penticton’s top city bureaucrats are carrying out their regular duties while also preparing for what might happen if they themselves fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency operations centre was activated March 18 inside Penticton Fire Hall No. 1 at the request of the B.C. government, but was moved to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre last week after the facility was closed to the public for health reasons.
COVID-19 doctors’ task force a community-based response
Coast Reporter: While Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is working in partnership with them, the Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force is a homegrown phenomenon. “There was a strong feeling amongst the physicians in this community of a need for a clear, organized response to the pandemic, as well as a desire from the community for clear communication and locally relevant information,” Dr. Jennifer Baxter told Coast Reporter through email.
Front line workers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows calling out for supplies
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News: A drive is being launched by doctors and specialists across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to help them in the fight against COVID-19. Dr. Stacy Burton and Dr. Imran Ansari say they are in a “desperate need of supplies” and are urging the public to think creatively about supply donations. The wish list includes gloves, gowns, goggles, face shields, cleaning products and hand sanitizer. “Dentist offices, auto shops, hockey equipment suppliers, cosmetic schools and vets are all coming forward to help, but we need more supplies and more partners to contribute,” said Dr. Burton.
Oliver Chronicle: In an effort to keep our communities protected, South Okanagan Similkameen doctors and nurse practitioners are providing care by telephone and video conference. If you are in need of non-emergency medical care, call your doctors clinic to make an appointment. Residents who do not have a family provider should call their local walk-in clinic. It is very important that residents call first and not “show up” at any medical clinic.
Shortage of face masks, gloves prompts Tri-City, New West doctors to act
Tri-City News: A shortage of face masks, gloves, goggles and other protective equipment is prompting Tri-City and New Westminster doctors to hold virtual appointments with patients and set up a COVID-19 testing site so potentially infected patients don’t need to come to their offices. Across North America, frontline health care professionals have been crying out for personal protective equipment to avoid contracting COVID-19, and local family doctors are facing the same problem.
Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force Community Update 9
Coast Reporter: Dear Fellow Sunshine Coast Residents: Thank you to everyone who continues to take every precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the Sunshine Coast. So many people are jumping in and helping with the effort across the Coast and it’s really amazing to see.
COVID-19: A message from Delta Division of Family Practice
Delta Optimist: Doctors in South Delta issued the following letter as a message to the community in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The physicians of South Delta are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. This crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime. We are working flat out to be there for our patients and their families. Doctors cannot do this alone. What the public does now will impact the health of British Columbians in the weeks and months ahead. Lives depend on your actions now.
Island doctors offer advice on COVID-19: What to do, who to see, how to prevent the spread
Tofino-Uculelet Westerly News: The following is a submission from the Physicians of Comox Valley Division of Family Practice. We know that you in the community are quite rightly concerned and anxious about COVID-19.Your family physicians have organized ourselves to respond to the situation as it evolves and to provide you with timely and accurate information regarding the novel COVID-19 pandemic currently upon our doorstep.
Many in BC Don’t Have Family Doctors. That’s Not Too Big a Deal Right Now
The Tyee: The fact that huge numbers of British Columbians don’t have a family doctor won’t likely be a factor in dealing with the growing COVID-19 health emergency. There will however be major stresses on the health care system and the people working in it, and the province is beginning to take steps to address them — though it isn’t yet accepting every offer of help.
What you need to know about coronavirus and how it spreads
Times Colonist: COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common. They are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. There have been two other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans: SARS and MERS.
People seeking testing for coronavirus face long lines as B.C. completes over 6,300 tests
Vancouver Sun: People seeking to be tested for the novel coronavirus are facing line-ups out the door and waiting times of as long as three to four hours at some urgent primary care centres, especially in downtown Vancouver, North Vancouver and Surrey.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that 4,318 tests for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were conducted in the last week for a total of at least 6,326 tests in B.C., up significantly from a total of 2,008 reached last week.
Coronavirus in Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help
Maclean's:NOTE: This post is being updated frequently with the most recent information from official federal and provincial sources. Because events are changing quickly, we are drawing not only from government websites but also Twitter feeds, press conferences and other sources. Last update was Friday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
As the coronavirus known as COVID-19 spreads in Canada, the sheer volume of information and misinformation about it can make it difficult to know exactly what is going on, and what to if you think you or someone near you could have the virus.
COVID-19 behind cancellation of Tri-Cities seniors' health forum
Tri-City News: With registration numbers down and concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on the elderly, a health conference for seniors planned for March 25 in the Tri-Cities has been cancelled. Plans are now being made to host the “Pathways to Better Health Forum” in June, during National Seniors Week, to avoid the complications of coronavirus, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly and others with compromised immune systems.
New urgent and primary care centre opens in Castlegar
The Nelson Daily: People living in Castlegar will soon have better access to team-based urgent and primary care with the opening of a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC). “Castlegar has about 2,000 people who do not have a regular primary care provider. This needs to change,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Kootenay West, on behalf of Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That is why, through the Province’s primary care strategy, we are announcing a UPCC in Castlegar to provide residents better access to same-day appointments and regular care. This centre will implement a team-based approach to ensure patients get the comprehensive care they need, when they need it.”
Coast Reporter: Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish is planning to hold a “Community Leaders Meeting” at the end of this month to bring together more than two dozen representatives from local governments, businesses, public agencies and volunteer organizations.
West Kelowna could see 10,000 new residents within 15 years
Castanet: "There's a lot going on, so buckle up." With those words, West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom spoke of a rosy future ahead for the city during his annual state of the city address to the Greater Westside Board of Trade. Milsom says since incorporating in 2007, the city's population has grown about 35 per cent, and shows no sign of slowing down.
High-income tax bracket could deter doctors from settling in South Okanagan, say MLAs
Vernon Morning Star: Local MLAs say the introduction of a high-income tax in B.C. could deter family physicians from settling in the South Okanagan. After the B.C. NDP government introduced the tax in the 2020 budget in February, B.C. Liberal MLAs voiced their disapproval, stating it could contribute further to the already existing shortage of doctors in the area. The new tax bracket increased income tax levels to 20.5 per cent for those earning more than $220,000 annually.
Opinion: COVID-19 panic is (sadly) spreading faster than the virus
Burnaby Now: The spread of COVID-19 around the world and the few new cases in Canada and B.C. have created an epidemic of anxiety. Though I have not seen any suspected cases in my office, I have treated many patients with overwhelming anxiety related to the news.
New East Vancouver urgent care centre offers alternative to walk-in clinics, ERs
News 1130: People in East Vancouver who need medical care now have an alternative to lining up at local walk-in clinics or waiting to be seen at a hospital emergency room. The REACH Urgent and Primary Care Centre is opening on Commercial Drive, just south of Venables Street within the existing REACH Community Health Centre.
'I felt really stranded': B.C. woman says she struggled to access care after miscarriage
CBC News: When Ivana Horacek suspected she was losing her pregnancy last October, the worry was unbearable. As it turned out, her struggle to find the care she needed was even worse. "I felt really stranded," said the Port Moody resident. "There was nothing, nothing that anybody would do." According to Doctors of B.C., 10 to 15 per cent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, but Horacek says there are inadequate resources for women going through what can be a frightening and upsetting ordeal.
April update on Westside's call for urgent care centre
The Daily Courier: Westside municipal officials will find out in early April about the feasibility of their call for an urgent and primary care centre in the region of 50,000 residents. Interior Health is currently analyzing the delivery of health care in West Kelowna and Peachland with a view to seeing if demand exists for such a centre. “Interior Health has initiated the required urgent and primary care centre engagement process,” IH president Susan Brown says.
Opinion: 'Coronavirus Phobia' has led to an ugly racist backlash
Burnaby Now: Our stories help us make sense of the world. But all stories are tidy simplifications of reality. With the endless editorials on social media, public opinion moves further from the truth. Throwing in fear and prejudice, what we believe to be true becomes inaccurate, biased and sometimes racist. This is the case with Coronavirus Phobia that could also be called Facemask Mania. There has been a racist backlash against ethnic Chinese around the world, including Australia, France and the UK. In our own country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to remind us that “there is no place for discrimination driven by fear.”
New approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay
Trail Times: Doctors and health officials in the Kootenay-Boundary are joining forces to attract new physicians to the region. Last week senior medical leadership from the Kootenay-Boundary agreed to a regional recruitment strategy to attract specialists for local hospitals, and general practitioners for outside the hospitals.
Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen
Vernon Morning Star: Representatives with the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice are seeking help with developing family practices in the region. At the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District meeting on Thursday, Dr. Tim Phillips, co-chair of the Division of Family Practice, and chief executive officer Tracy St. Claire asked the hospital district for assistance in building family practices in the area.
Family practice 'dying': Call for help building South Okanagan family doctor practices
Castanet: A pair of South Okanagan advocates for more family doctors in the region presented a plea for help to the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District Thursday. Dr. Tim Phillips, co-chair, and Tracy St. Claire, CEO, with the SOS Division of Family Practice presented a plaintive call to become a partner in their vision for encouraging and building family practices in the region. "Family practice as we knew it 20 years ago is dying,” Phillips said, explaining that the traditional model of groups of doctors buying and running their own spaces is no longer feasible.
Doctors dispute need for Salmon Arm urgent and primary care centre
Vernon Morning Star: Salmon Arm doctors are concerned a provincial initiative designed to improve access to health care services could be detrimental to local medical practices. In November 2019, an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opened in Vernon. The 13th such centre announced in B.C., Health Minister Adrian Dix said the facility would provide a “completely different model” from a walk-in clinic, connecting patients to full-time primary care providers and using a team-based approach for certain types of cases, such as patients suffering from mental health issues and addictions.
Vernon urgent care clinic serves 1,274 since opening
Vernon Morning News: Since opening its doors in October, 2019, the Vernon Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) has served 1,274 patients already. This is the 13th UPCC announced in the B.C. government’s primary care strategy and is expected to serve 42,000 patients annually in its new facility that will be open seven days a week, evenings, weekends and statutory holidays.
Castanet: The new urgent and primary care centre has already had more than 100 patients roll through. "A little over one-in-four people who go to Kelowna General Hospital in the emergency would be as well or better served coming in right here," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. The facility features six exam rooms, two treatment rooms, a consultation room, a waiting room and a medication room. Currently, the centre is open seven days-a-week from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with hours expected to expand in the coming months.
Health care access, cost of travel top concerns for B.C. rural residents
Vernon Morning Star: Researchers looking into health care in rural areas are hearing that barriers to transportation and travel are major concerns. That’s one of the common themes found by the Rural Evidence Review, a study being conducted by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Rural Health Research.
Coast Reporter: Sechelt Hospital was recently ranked among the 10 most overcrowded hospitals in the province for the 2018-19 fiscal year, and Ministry of Health statistics obtained by Coast Reporter suggest occupancy rates in Sechelt are being driven up by patients who would normally be in assisted living or long-term care but have no option other than an acute care bed.
Castanet: Kelowna's new urgent and primary care centre officially opens on Thursday. B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix will officially open the centre at 11:15 a.m., at the former Bank of Montreal building beside the Capri Centre Mall. The centre will operate full time with the equivalent of 22 employees, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists and physiotherapists.
Don’t have a family doctor? Here’s your chance to get one
The Daily Courier: Four new doctors are set to join a West Kelowna medical practice, improving local access to family physicians. Owners of Westside Medical Associates say the practice can accept up to 5,000 new patients. “Our recruitment strategy has been simple,” clinic director Vicky Hunt says in a release. “Build a state-of-the-art clinic in a central location and start contracting the best physicians we can find.” “We look forward to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to more new patients in Kelowna, West Kelowna and area,” Dr. Toye Oyelse, the clinic’s medical director, says in the release.
Voiceonline: Surrey's new hospital will be built in Cloverdale beside the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus at 5500 180th Street. The Province announced on Monday that following the purchase of the site for a new, state-of-the-art facility, the project is moving to the business-planning phase. “This is a great day for people in Surrey as we are delivering a new hospital in the community,” said Premier John Horgan. “Surrey is a fast-growing community and people will be able to count on better health care close to home for generations to come with the approval of this project.”
Premier, health minister unveil plans for new hospital in Surrey
CBC: The province has revealed plans to build a new hospital in Surrey, B.C. B.C.'s Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan held a press conference at 10:15 a.m. PT in the foyer of the Surrey Museum to provide details. In 2017, he promised the fast-growing city a new hospital and that it could be constructed in six to 10 years.For those in the community, like former first responder and city councillor Mike Starchuk, it can't come soon enough.
Penticton’s first Primary Care Centre officially opens
Global News: Penticton B.C.’s first Primary Care Network clinic officially opened on Friday, meaning patients already attached to family doctors practicing at the new centre will now have access to other healthcare professionals under one roof. The Ponderosa Primary Care Centre, located at 2504 Skaha Lake Rd., houses six family physicians, two nurse practitioners, two registered nurses, a registered dietitian, a social worker and an occupational therapist.
Penticton’s first Primary Care Centre officially opens
Global News: Penticton B.C.’s first Primary Care Network clinic officially opened on Friday, meaning patients already attached to family doctors practicing at the new centre will now have access to other healthcare professionals under one roof. The Ponderosa Primary Care Centre, located at 2504 Skaha Lake Rd., houses six family physicians, two nurse practitioners, two registered nurses, a registered dietitian, a social worker and an occupational therapist.
Team-based family medical clinic opens in Penticton
Castanet: It’s an entirely new way to deliver healthcare in the South Okanagan. The region’s first team-based family medicine clinic held a grand opening Friday in Penticton. The newly-renovated Ponderosa Primary Care Centre brings privately-practicing family doctors under the same roof as specialists such as dieticians and social workers, along with nurse practitioners.
New centre aims to give more Victoria residents access to same-day health care
CBC: It'll be a little easier for Victoria residents without a family doctor to get medical attention this coming spring. The province is planning to open its 14th urgent and primary care centre in the city by March 2020. The facility will be operated by the Island Health Authority, which has leased a space at 547 Michigan St. in the James Bay neighbourhood.
West Shore clinic busiest in the province, health minister says
Times Colonist: More than 25,000 patients visited the urgent primary care centre in the West Shore in its first year, says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. “In terms of patient visits, it’s the most popular, the most-used urgent primary care centre in B.C.,” Dix said of the clinic, which opened on Nov. 5, 2018. “It’s leading Surrey. It’s leading Vancouver. It’s leading similar high-population areas.”
Region’s second urgent primary care centre to open in James Bay
Times Colonist: The capital region’s second urgent primary care centre will open in Victoria next year. Island Health has leased space at 547 Michigan St. to operate the James Bay Urgent and Primary Care Centre. Renovations are underway, and it is expected to open in March. Its hours will extend into the evening, seven days a week.
New urgent primary care centre to open in Victoria
CTV News: A new urgent and primary care centre is set to open in James Bay in the spring, according to an announcement made by the B.C. government Monday. The health facility will offer same-day health care service by doctors, nurses and mental health and substance-use clinicians 365 days a year, according to the province. It will also provide ongoing primary care through booked appointments. “The new urgent and primary care centre will help connect more people in Victoria with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, B.C. Minister of Health, in a statement.
New urgent and primary care centre opens in Vernon
Global News: British Columbia announced on Tuesday that it has opened up an urgent and primary care centre in Vernon aimed at giving North Okanagan residents without a family doctor better access to health care and keeping non-emergency cases out of the emergency room. B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the goals of the centre are to provide urgent primary care for those who either don’t have a family physician or can’t get in to see them in a timely fashion and to connect patients with doctors or nurse practitioners to provide long-term care.
New urgent and primary care centre to open in Vernon
Vernon Morning Star: Patients in Vernon will now have better access to health care with the opening of a third urgent and primary care centre in the Interior. The Vernon Urgent and Primary Care Centre is the 13th urgent and primary care centre to be announced in the B.C. government’s primary care strategy and is expected to serve 42,000 additional patient visits once fully operational in early 2020. The facility in Kamloops has served more than 10,320 patients since its opening in June 2018 and a facility in Kelowna is expected to open in December.
New urgent and primary care centre opens in North Vancouver to serve North Shore
Global News: A new urgent and primary care centre has opened in North Vancouver as part of the province’s strategy to deliver faster and better health care to people in the province. Vancouver Coastal Health says in a statement the North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre will provide services for people who need to see a health care provider within 24 hours, but don’t need to visit an emergency room.
New urgent and primary care centre opens on North Shore
CTV News: A new urgent and primary care centre has opened in North Vancouver as part of the province's strategy to deliver faster and better health care to people in the province. Vancouver Coastal Health says in a statement the North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre will provide services for people who need to see a health care provider within 24 hours, but don't need to visit an emergency room.
Island Voices: Politicians silent on access to family doctors
Times Colonist: For six weeks, the leaders of the various major political parties crisscrossed the country talking about jobs, taxes and climate change, among other topics. But there was one topic that affects huge numbers of Canadians that received little attention during the election and its four major debates — access to a family doctor. More than 4.5 million people across the country don’t have a regular GP, despite the number of doctors in Canada growing at three times the pace of the population since 2014.
Mobile iphone-based care strategy app in the Peace
The Mirror: Doctors caring for South Peace emergency patients can now have 24/7 support from critical care specialists with new virtual technology. The mobile iphone-based tech is called Critical Outreach and Diagnostic Intervention (CODI) which was developed by BC general practitioners Dr. John Pawlovich and Dr. Don Burke.
Centralized waitlist helping connect people with doctors, says South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice
Global News: A primary care network in B.C.’s Southern Interior is claiming that more 1,000 people without a family doctor have found care in the past six months. The South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Division of Family Practice says thanks to its centralized regional waitlist, 1,057 patients were attached to a primary-care provider between April 1 and Sept. 10.
Oliver Chronicle: Thanks to many local solutions, more than 1,100 patients in our region have been able to find care. “I feel so incredibly lucky,” said Jan Kostek, who located a primary care provider by signing up on the SOS Division regional waitlist at www.divisionsbc.ca/sos. “Finding health care was one of our biggest concerns moving here from Edmonton,” she said. “We’d heard about the physician shortage, and we had no connections.”
Senior health fair offered at Ladner United Church
Delta Optimist: As we transition through the phases of life, questions arise regarding where to find information about topics such as community services, housing, care facilities, physical and mental health and wellness. Navigating the route to accessing available resources can be daunting. On Saturday, Oct. 26 the Delta Division of Family Practice, in collaboration with community partners Ladner United Church, Deltassist, Fraser Health, Delta Seniors Planning Team and the City of Delta invite residents to participate in the Transition Years and Healthy Living: Resource and Information Fair.
100 reasons to celebrate all Fort St. John has to offer
Alaska Highway News: My does time fly when you're having fun. In honour of my 100th column, I thought it would be great fun to celebrate our community. Here it is, Fort St. John’s Top 100, Edwina Style:
MDs seek patient advisors for input into Tri-City health care
Tri-City News: A group working to improve patient care in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra, is seeking two people to be a voice for patients on a local committee. Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice Society is accepting applications for patient advisors to collaborate with the Primary Care Network team and to provide input into projects to improve primary care in the Tri-Cities.
Vancouver Magazine: Vancouver-based publicist Carine Redmond suffered a stress fracture in her foot in November 2018, an injury that impacted her day-to-day life to such a degree that, before it was diagnosed, she was offered the use of a wheelchair at Palm Springs International Airport when visiting that city one weekend. But without a family doctor—a circumstance that forces her to rely on walk-in clinics—she didn’t know it was a broken bone she was dealing with until almost a month after the pain started. “I went to five different clinics and no one would give me an X-ray,” she says. “So I had a broken foot for weeks until I begged someone—as a favour—to get me an appointment with their podiatrist.”
Better access to primary health care coming for Maple Ridge region
CTV News: Residents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows now have increased access to urgent and primary health care. B.C.'s health minister, Adrian Dix, announced Friday the opening of a new primary and urgent care centre, along with the launch of two new health care networks.
No doctor, no referral, no problem at new Burnaby health centre
Burnaby Now: If you’re a Burnaby resident with a sprained ankle, a cut that needs stitching or a kid with bad earache, you now have another option besides heading to Burnaby Hospital’s emergency room. The new Edmonds Urgent and Primary Care Centre opened its doors this week offering a new kind of health-care model, according to Fraser Health Authority officials.
Expanded social worker program enhances primary care in Creston
Creston Valley Advance: Doctors and patients in Creston are welcoming the expansion of an innovative program that brings doctors and social workers together to provide care for patients with complex needs.
Northern Health making changes at Chetwynd Primary Care Clinic to ensure efficiencies
Energeticcity.ca: Northern Health has announced that the Chetwynd Primary Care Clinic, in collaboration with local physicians, is making changes to ensure efficiencies of clinic resources and appointment availabilities. In a release, Northern Health says they are actively working to recruit new primary care providers, including physicians and a nurse practitioner, to Chetwynd.
Interior Health: Interior Health is pleased to announce that two new physicians are joining the local health care team at the Slocan Community Health Centre (SCHC). Dr. Svet Gueordjev and Dr. Sean Wachtel will start seeing patients as of Oct. 1. They join long-time New Denver physician Dr. Chuck Burkholder in providing local primary care services and coverage for the community’s 24/7 emergency department.
Castanet: Elected officials from West Kelowna are continuing their efforts to lobby BC Hydro for a redundant power supply for the Westside. Mayor Gord Milsom and members of council sat down with senior officials from BC Hydro Tuesday at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver. Ironically, power went out to more than 3,000 Westside customers after the meeting.
Castanet: After many months of lobbying for more police resources, the province has come through for West Kelowna. During meetings with Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth at the UBCM convention in Vancouver, it was learned the city's detachment would be getting one new rural police officer.
Nanaimo faces physician squeeze as doctor numbers outpaced by population growth
Nanaimo News Now: It is becoming increasingly harder to find a family doctor in Nanaimo. According to census data, the city saw 7.1 per cent population growth between 2011 and 2016, however the amount of doctors to keep that population healthy has remained relatively stable. Nanaimo Division of Family Practice reports 91 physicians currently practice in Nanaimo, with 16 more full time positions and one part time opening available.
Trudeau pitched family doctors for everyone. But B.C. already tried that and failed
CBC: A campaign promise by federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau about making sure all Canadians have access to a family doctor might feel a little bit like déjà vu in British Columbia. A key platform for the B.C. Liberals in 2010 — which they doubled down on in 2013 — was that everyone who wanted a family doctor would be able to have one by 2015; a program remembered as A GP for Me.
Province announces urgent primary care centre will open in Kelowna this winter
Global News: An urgent primary care centre will open in Kelowna, likely in winter, the provincial government announced on Thursday. The care centre will be located at 1141 Harvey Avenue, in front of the Coast Capri hotel near Gordon Avenue, and will be open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., including statutory holidays.
LifeLabs relocates to Surrey’s health and technology district
Voiceonline: LifeLabs on Monday celebrated the grand opening of its newly relocated collection site in Surrey by hosting a ribbon-cutting and celebration in the Surrey City Centre 2 on 9639 137A Street. The new location is located across from Surrey Memorial Hospital and adjacent to the Surrey Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Surrey’s expanding Health and Technology District.
Lu’ma Medical Centre gifted $2M in expansion funding from B.C. health ministry, FNHA
Global News: More urban Indigenous people in Vancouver will gain access to health care at a specialized medical centre, thanks to a $2 million expansion funded by the Ministry of Health and the First Nations Health Authority. The health ministry and FNHA will provide more than $1.8 million in ongoing funding and over $200,000 in one-time funding to Lu’ma Medical Centre.
Summerland to discuss health and wellness centre at UBCM Convention
Vernon Morning Star: Municipal council representatives hope to meet with provincial ministers at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention to discuss the creation of a community health and wellness centre. The convention will be held in Vancouver from Sept. 23 to 27. Council representatives hope to meet with ministers of education, health, municipal affairs and state for child care to identify the support and partnership opportunities for the proposed centre.
Castanet: The District of Summerland will be bringing an idea for a community health and wellness centre to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver later this month. The convention is the one time a year representatives of local governments from across B.C. get the chance of face-to-face meetings with provincial ministers.
Prince George Citizen: For years, successive B.C. governments have clung to an assisted living strategy which, literally, makes no sense. Fortunately, that is about to change. Assisted living facilities offer semi-independent housing. Some provide a single room, some an apartment-style suite. All deliver a variety of supports, such as meals, recreation and help with medications. They are intended for residents who can no longer remain in their home, but who do not require the more intensive assistance provided by long-term care facilities.
'Long overdue': Burnaby Hospital to see $1.3 billion redevelopment
CTV News: The province is committing $1.3 billion to redevelop the aging hospital in Burnaby. On Tuesday, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix were joined by representatives with the Fraser Health Authority and Burnaby Hospital Foundation as they made the billion-dollar announcement.
Editorial: MDs a vital part of assisted-living reform in B.C.
Times Colonist: For years, successive B.C. governments have clung to an assisted living strategy which, literally, makes no sense. Fortunately, that is about to change. Assisted living facilities offer semi-independent housing. Some provide a single room, some an apartment-style suite. All deliver a variety of supports, such as meals, recreation and help with medications. They are intended for residents who can no longer remain in their home, but who do not require the more intensive assistance provided by long-term care facilities.
Province looks to keep people out of long-term care for longer
Times Colonist: People in assisted-living residences will soon have more options to stay longer and access more services to avoid being prematurely moved into long-term care, says B.C.’s health minister. The changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, announced Wednesday in New Westminster by Adrian Dix, will come into force on Dec. 1. The regulations will give people, including seniors and people with disabilities, the flexibility to stay in their communities longer.
Castanet: The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family has launched a new waiting list to connect people with family doctors and nurse practitioners. Starting now, patients without a primary care provider can add their name to a centralized list, rather than having to call around town to locate a clinic accepting patients. The list can be found here.
New list makes finding family doctor easier in South Okanagan
Oliver Chronicle: Having a hard time finding a family doctor in the South Okanagan? You’re not alone. But the wait may soon be over. There is reportedly a new and easy way for patients in the South Okanagan Similkameen to be connected to a family physician or nurse practitioner.
Third urgent primary healthcare centre in Metro Vancouver to open in North Vancouver
The Georgia Straight: A new health centre will help improve access to urgent, non-emergency healthcare for residents on the North Shore. B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on August 8 that the new North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) will open in North Vancouver in September. It will be the third UPCC announced for Metro Vancouver and the tenth centre in B.C.
North Shore News: The province offered a shot in the arm this week for health care on the North Shore with the announcement of a new urgent primary care centre in North Vancouver. It’s a fairly new concept, which straddles the line between emergency room and walk-in clinic. The idea is to divert non-emergency cases from the ER and provide extra coverage on weekends and after regular doctors’ office hours. Anyone who has sat in the ER waiting for hours with a medical issue that wasn’t life threatening but couldn’t wait until Monday morning will see the benefit of such a centre.
CBC: The 10th urgent primary care centre in B.C. is opening in the Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood of North Vancouver in September. The centre will help serve people who don't have a family doctor and who often bounce between a hospital emergency room and walk-in clinics.
Nobody likes sick notes anymore. Why won’t they go away?
Maclean's: On an icy winter’s day last year, Eric Cadesky had a patient who urgently needed to visit Cadesky’s family medical practice in Vancouver. The man wasn’t ill—he’d fully recovered from a recent bout of bronchitis and was ready to go back to work. But his employer said he needed a doctor’s note before he could return. So Cadesky’s office set up an appointment to do nothing more than perform a check-up and hand over a piece of paper giving him a clean bill of health.
New healthcare hub coming to East Vancouver’s Commercial Drive
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.
B.C. announces new urgent care centre for East Vancouver
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.”
Coquitlam drug deaths slowing but still almost 2 a month
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
‘Lives will be lost’: Oliver town council to address ER closures at UBCM
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.
Need help? Let your fingers do the walking with new health care resource
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.
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.
B.C. working on remedies to heal doctor crisis: Dix
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.
Three approaches, explained: primary care networks, urgent primary care, community health centres
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.
Critical Condition Part 2: What is being done to fix the family doctor shortage?
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.
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.
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.
Doctor shortage still a ‘crisis,’ despite survey that indicates otherwise
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.”
July is ‘Unused Medication Return Month’ in Vernon
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.
Former Squamish doctor calls for increased access to sexual assault forensic exams
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.
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.
Coquitlam physician takes over post at BC's top doc
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.
Urgent and primary care centre opens in Parkwood Place Mall
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
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.
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.
$40M to upgrade B.C. First Nations’ addiction and mental health treatment centres
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.
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.
Burnaby walking forum gets your Feet on the Street
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.
'Corporate medicine' model is wrong approach for urgent care centres: think-tank
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.
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.
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.”
Kamloops doctor honoured with My Family Doctor Award
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.
John Horgan: Four ways we’re making health care better
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.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy asks people to reach out during Mental Health Week
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.
New provincial health care funding could take bite out of South Okanagan doctor shortage
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.
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.
Medical clinic in Sooke gets $1 million for new doctors, nurses
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."
Improved healthcare services coming to Sooke: province
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
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.
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.”
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.
Premier announces team-based primary care coming to Prince George
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.”
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.
Province announces new agreement with doctors supports team-based care
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.
Family doctors need to treat their patients like, well, family
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.
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.
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.
More doctors, new clinic planned for South Okanagan, Similkameen: B.C. government
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.
Interior seniors wait longer for long-term care than in Lower Mainland, seniors advocate says
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.
Downtown Victoria to lose more doctors as medical clinic forced to close
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.
New urgent primary-care health centre to open in Nanaimo in June
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.”
New urgent and primary care facility to be established in Nanaimo
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.
Need for family doctors in Esquimalt ‘immediate’: physicians’ group
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.
Quesnel doctor creates website for those dealing with chronic pain
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.
IH confirms SOGH emergency department to stay open 24/7
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.
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.
Burnaby doesn't have enough occupational therapists to staff new networks: group
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.
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.
Want more family doctors? Change how they work and get paid, says B.C. researcher
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.
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.
Networks launched to help the 40,000 Burnaby residents without a family doctor
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.”
Next big step in primary-care transformation launches
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.
Province pledges health worker hiring spree as it announces Burnaby Urgent and Primary Care Centre
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).
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.
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.
Province says it’s improving residential care in Vancouver Coastal Health
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.
B.C. government rolling privately-run home support services into health authorities
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.
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.
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.
You have to know your bad habits before you can actually change them
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.
CMHA Vernon campaign promotes medication disposal awareness
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.
B.C. medical students call for more residency spots to curb doctor shortage
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.
Provincial funding for residential care to ease pressure on care aides
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."
John Horgan: New primary-care networks will deliver faster, better healthcare
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.
Recommendations on seniors’ care not implemented 7 years after report: ombudsperson
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.
B.C. government announces more doctors coming to Tri-Cities, New West, Anmore and Belcarra
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.
Even doctors are feeling squeezed by soaring lease rates in the Vancouver area
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.
B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes
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?
Clinic wait was so long, it raised her blood pressure
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.
LETTER: Physicians greatly affected by rising commercial assessments
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.
Doctor shortage ‘crisis’ demands urgent attention: Esquimalt mayor
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.
Across province, communities struggle with critical shortages, doctors say
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.”
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.
Home care declines as B.C. senior population grows, advocate says
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.
BC health minister teases further details about second hospital for Surrey
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.
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.
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.
Okanagan community faces losing all of its doctors
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.
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.
‘It’s devastating’: no replacement for retiring Okanagan Falls doctor
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.
Bowen Island Health Centre: answering some key questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
KinVillage redevelopment plan sent to public hearing
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.
Volunteers sought for Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee
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.
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.
Survey suggests tense relationship between VCH and hospital doctors
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.”
Local clinic director concerned about staff, patient impacts after Summit walk-in closes
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.
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.
Vancouver's first urgent primary care centre to open Monday
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.
New health care programs an exciting time for Revelstoke
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.
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.
Too many Burnaby residents have too few people to confide in
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.
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.
Walk-in doctors want equal pay with full-family practitioners, B.C. group says
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.
Walk-in doctors seeking ‘fair’ payment for work equal to full practices
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.
Patients searching for family doctor at new Langford care centre leave disappointed
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.
Surrey is unveiled as fourth Urgent Primary Care Centre in British Columbia
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.
Editorial: Langford clinic just a start on the crisis
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.
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.
New primary care centre in Langford just the first step to address doctor shortage says B.C.’s Health Minister
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.
New urgent primary care centre will deliver better health care to the West Shore
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.
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.
Patients take active role with medical team for better results
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.
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.
Island Voices: Is patient-centred health care a desirable goal, or just hype?
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.
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.
How to share your feedback on the Thompson region's healthcare system
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.
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.
Town of Osoyoos studying potential health care centre
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.
Local health care centre now has a vision and timeline
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.
B.C. making progress on senior care staffing, Adrian Dix says
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
B.C. provincial government commits $240 million to improve care for seniors
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.
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.
Interior Health authority prepares for deadly influenza season
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.
B.C. and federal governments sign agreement to improve health-care services
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.
Some good news for Central Okanagan residents without a family doctor
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.
More than 8,000 people on Kamloops wait list now have a primary care provider
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.
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.
Chilliwack Attracts New Doctors through Community Collaboration
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.
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.
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.
Need a family doctor in Kelowna or Lake Country? Here’s a chance to get one
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.
OPINION: B.C. seniors deserve a safe, affordable place to live and services they can rely on
Voiceonline.ca: Every senior in British Columbia deserves the peace of mind that comes with having safe and affordable housing â€“ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Site chosen for care beds at the fomer Cariboo Lodge: Jubilee House will have to relocate
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.
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.
Opinion: How can we best improve health care in BC?
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.
New one-stop shop opens for seniors health in Kelowna
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
New Health and Wellness Centre opens for seniors with age-related diseases
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.
Co-op health in James Bay struggles with bills and shortage of doctors
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.
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.
Access to care for BC seniors declining due to privatization: report
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.
Vancouver billionaire donates $75M towards new St. Paul's hospital
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.
Most Canadians get timely medical treatment: report
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yap pledges 25 senior daycare spaces at Austin Harris Residence
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.
Using the ER appropriately in Chilliwack will take a shift in culture
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.
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.
Sooke mayor says town facing health crisis, needs care facility
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.
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.
Seniors being underserved by Cowichan Valley candidates
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?
Healthcare petition details concerns over lack of services in Osoyoos and Oliver
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.
Osoyoos residents petition for more family doctors
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.
Our Cause: Broadmead takes sustainable approach to residential care
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.
Walk-in clinic reps addressing BC's primary care needs
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.
Government pledges 90 million for more clinics like those on Kamloops' North Shore
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.
Nanaimo seniors rally against elder care treatment
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.”
Private seniors' care facilities, opponents draw battle lines on Sunshine Coast
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.
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.
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.
Walk-in clinic closures ignite petition demanding more doctors in BC
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.
Closure of walk-in clinics spurs petition for family doctors
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.
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.
Ombudsperson finds government decisions harmed 8 fired health ministry workers
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."
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?
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).
BC doctors lobbying against adding new bed at Catholic hospice
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).
Nurse practitioners can solve BC primary care woes, conference told
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.
Opinion: College should collaborate to curb the use of painkillers
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.
Seniors care and staffing levels below provincial guidelines
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.
CareCrew app helps caregivers and home-care workers collaborate
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.
Antipsychotic medication may be causing care-home aggression: seniors advocate
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.
Martin Street Outreach centre officially opens doors
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.
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.