In the News

  • 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.  

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • e-know.ca: Cranbrook medical clinics are looking to hire at least eight family physicians in the next two to 12 months. The EK Division of Family Practice, a non-profit society that supports family physicians in meeting community health care needs, recently received funding support from the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), once again, for physician recruitment work throughout the East Kootenay. While very grateful for this foundational funding, those funds only begin to meet the need in attracting new GPs to practice here. There’s a bigger problem.

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  • Coast Reporter: Since the Dear Coastal Neighbour one-way letter-writing campaign launched in May, more than 50 creative and thoughtful letters have been submitted for community distribution to health-care workers, grocery store staff, seniors, and coastal neighbours in general. Letter writing is slow, thoughtful and personal, and each letter represents an opportunity to spark joy and strengthen social connectedness by providing a small, personal, non-digital message. 

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  • Powell River Peak: Burnaby city staff will be studying potential naloxone and overdose prevention training at the city’s warming centres after a request by an overdose crisis working group that the training and resources be put in place at the centres. The Burnaby Community Action Team (BCAT) on the Overdose Crisis penned a letter to council in late May with two calls to action for the city, including providing overdose response training and supplies to warming centre staff.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.”   

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  • 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. 

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  • 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."

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.” 

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  • 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.

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  • Business in Vancouver: At his practice in Surrey, Dr. Lawrence Yang has at times wondered how other physicians in his community have been handling cases such as diabetes, cancer, and addiction.

    “We were never really able to put anonymized data — but data that’s relevant to the community — altogether in one visualization,” he said.

    That’s changing as of late April, when the Victoria-based Health Data Coalition expanded its data-sharing application allowing BC family doctors to compare electronic medical records (EMR).

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

    Read the story>
  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

    Read the story.
  • e-know.ca: The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice is now offering a virtual walk-in COVID-19 clinic for people without a family doctor.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.  

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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:

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Bowen Island Undercurrent: Answers to some questions we hear most often-- drop us a line at info@bowenhealthcentre.com or call 604-341-9488 if you have others. Why did we need to buy the land?
     

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.
     

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  • Tri-City News: The Tri-Cities will be one of 16 B.C. communities to receive up to $150,000 in funding for community action teams (CAT) to battle the overdose crisis.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • AM 1130: People living in the central Okanagan will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care, with the opening of an urgent and primary care centre in Kelowna.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • New Westminster Record: A new initiative is aiming to improve access to low-cost or free services, whether it’s housing resources or mental health supports, in the New Westminster area.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.
     

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

     

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  • 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.

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

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read full story>
  • Goldstream News Gazette​: On Feb. 28 I attended the third of a series of meetings organized by the South Island Division of Family Practice. Entitled “Primary Health Care in the Western Communities,” this event focused on the lack of doctors in the West Shore and Sooke and was attended by municipal representatives, community partners, doctors and other health-care providers.

    Read the full story>
  • Vancouver Sun​: The multi-million dollar redevelopment of the site around the George Pearson Centre at Cambie and 57th Avenue may disrupt the lives of 125 frail seniors in an adult day care program.

    Read the full story>
  • InfoTel News​: Residential care for seniors in Kamloops is getting a helping hand with the addition of 48 care beds. These beds are for seniors who require 24-hour care. Sometimes these patients have complex health needs, or dementia. According to a media release, Interior Health issued a request for proposals in September 2016 for design, construction and operation of 243 new residential care beds.

    Read the full story>
  • Williams Lake Tribune​: Our government is investing $500 million over the next four years as part of an action plan to improve care for seniors across the province, including increasing direct-care hours for seniors in residential care.

    Read the full op-ed>
  • Williams Lake Tribune​: Interior Health announced Friday it has awarded the contract to develop 70 residential care beds in Williams Lake to inSite Housing, Hospitality Health Services Inc. The new facility will be built at the former Cariboo Lodge site in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue North, a location Mayor Walt Cobb described as ideal.

    Read the full story>
  • Cowichan Valley Citizen​: Crissy Brett wants to do her part to draw attention to the homeless problem in the Cowichan Valley, and across BC, as the provincial election approaches. Brett, a member of the Nuxalt First Nation who lives in Crofton, has set up a small tent city on the corner of the Trans Canada Highway and Beverly Street in Duncan. The United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island, in collaboration with Cowichan Housing Association, Our Cowichan, Cowichan Mental Health, Social Planning Cowichan, The Division of Family Practice, and the Substance Use Collective Impact Team hosted a conference on homelessness in Duncan earlier this month.

    Read the full story>
  • Times Colonist​: Thank you to Gery Lemon and View Royal Mayor David Screech for their excellent and thought-provoking commentary concerning excessive wait times for diagnostic imaging, specialist services and large numbers of citizens without access to a family physician (“Why the long wait to see a doctor in Victoria?” comment, March 17). As a GP in View Royal for 15 years, and in Langford for six years before that, I am acutely aware of wait lists and family-physician shortages, most notably in the West Shore, one of the fastest-growing regions in BC.

    Read the full op-ed>
  • Salmon Arm Observer​: Interior Health has opened, in Kelowna, what it hopes will be the first of many seniors’ health and wellness centres across the health region. The specialized centre helps seniors with frailty and age-related medical conditions through a multi-disciplinary approach and access to specialist services. “The Ministry of Health asked the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice and Interior Health to work together toward excellence in seniors’ care in our communities,” said Dr. Gayle Klammer, Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice member, co-chairwoman of the Local Action Team and Implementation Team and a Kelowna GP

    Read the full story>
  • Kelowna Now: A new Seniors Health and Wellness Centre has opened up in Kelowna within the Cottonwoods Care Centre. The centre will benefit those with frailty and age-related medical conditions through offering access to specialist services. Particular services include multidisciplinary assessments, short-term therapeutic interventions and access to geriatricians and family doctors with a special interest in geriatrics. The centre will also offer education and connections to other community services that will help seniors access programs promoting health and wellness as well advise on how to live independently for as long as possible.

    Read the full story>
  • Times Colonist​: The Victoria Health Co-operative says a family-doctor shortage has left it struggling to pay bills for the clinic, which serves 7,300 patients. The non-profit has operated the Co-op Health Centre at the James Bay Community Project since 2010. It collects 32.5 per cent of doctors’ revenue from the BC Medical Services Plan to cover rent, office staff, electronic medical records and other administrative costs. MSP rates include a portion accountable to overhead costs, which can range from 16 per cent for an extremely efficient practice to 50 per cent. Locums, who fill in for other doctors, expect to contribute 30 to 40 per cent of their billings to overhead, according to Doctors of BC.

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

    Read the full story>
  • Vancouver Sun​: The provincial policy of privatizing home and community care services for seniors has resulted in less access for people in need, says a new report released today. Between 2001 and 2016, the closure of 40 care facilities operated by either health authorities or non-profit organizations has resulted in a drop in residential care beds of 11 per cent. During the same period, the for-profit sector increased 42 per cent, according to the report.

    Read the full story>
  • Vancouver Sun​: Vancouver billionaire Jimmy Pattison has made what’s being described as the largest donation in Canadian history to a medical facility by an individual. The donation will support the redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital on its new site in False Creek flats. The money will go towards what will be called the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, a medical and research centre. The new hospital – which has been estimated to cost at least $1.2 billion – is expected to be completed in about seven years. But construction has not yet begun as zoning and planning continues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the full op ed>
  • 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).

    Read the full story>
  • 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).

    Read the full story (Free membership required)>
  • 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.

    Read the full story (Free membership required)>
  • 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.

    Read the full story>
  • 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.

    Read the full article
  • 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.

    Read the full article
  • 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.

    Read more>
  • 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.

    Read the full story
  • Nanaimo News Bulletin, December 9, 2019.

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

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

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

    Read the full story