Victoria Divisions of Family Practice

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Urban Locum Program - Greater Victoria Pilot

Locums & hosts: Apply now!

 

Last updated: January 30, 2023
 

The Urban Locum Program (ULP) pilot in Greater Victoria’s primary care networks aims to offer up to 10 days of coverage per year for eligible family doctors and a career pathway for new physicians into longitudinal care. The program began in the fall of 2022, and is intended to help address challenges facing family doctors including burnout, finding locum coverage to maintain continuity of care during leaves, mounting financial pressures from business costs, and the need to recruit and retain family doctors in community longitudinal practice.
 

Benefits

for host family physicians:
  • Coverage for patients for up to 10 days per year (based on locum availability), which can be taken consecutively or separately
  • Support for physician health and wellness
  • Relief from administrative burden as practice coverage will be arranged through the program
  • Payment of infrastructure costs while away so physicians don’t have to pay to take a break
  • Over time, a pool of potential recruits who have experienced your clinic and community
for locums:
  • A new career pathway for family medicine residents considering longitudinal practice
  • Mentorship support for new-to-practice physicians
  • A new support for end-of-career physicians who want to work a few more years but don’t want to carry their own panels
  • An option for hospitalists and other family medicine-trained physicians working in focused practice who are looking to maintain their longitudinal experience
  • A flexible contract to work last-minute or short-term
  • Administrative support to coordinate placements with physicians/clinics and for scheduling
  • Experience with different practice types and communities
  • Flexibility to coordinate rural placements with urban ones
     

Piloting for BC

The locum coverage pilot runs from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024. It is being delivered in the Victoria and South Island primary care networks (PCNs), with the Victoria Division taking on the administration and the Family Practice Services Committee (FPSC) providing oversight. Results of continuous program evaluation will inform conversations with the Ministry about provincial spread in a timely way after the pilot. The Victoria and South Island area was selected for the pilot due to its extremely high rate of patients without a longitudinal family physician (30–40%).

The initiative builds on similar efforts by the Divisions of Family Practice and ideas brought forward from both the provincial and regional Recruitment & Retention Committees. It complements the existing Rural General Practitioner Locum Program and traditional locum opportunities.
 

Host family physician eligibility

To participate in the pilot, host family physicians must be part of one of the primary care networks (PCNs) in Greater Victoria (Victoria, Westshore, or Saanich Peninsula) and be working a minimum of 0.5 FTE providing clinic-based, longitudinal care to a panel of patients, under either the fee for service (FFS) or longitudinal family practice (LFP) compensation models.

The above criteria were agreed upon to initially limit the pilot scope and create manageable parameters while we build a pool of locums, and for the purpose of testing the concept and evaluating outcomes. In the future, and with successful evaluation results, the goal is to rapidly expand the program across the province and to a wider demographic of family physicians. If there is a surplus of locums during the initial pilot phase, criteria for family physicians will be expanded at that time.
 

How to apply

We are currently accepting applications by locums and by host physicians seeking coverage. Please read the FAQs prior to completing the application.

Locums:

Please complete the locum application form. Once this is completed, we will be in touch to discuss the specific terms of your contract. There will be an opportunity to fully understand all the aspects of the contract prior to signing. After signing the contract, you will be invited to submit your availability for the scheduling/matching process with host physicians.

View an infographic of what to expect during the locum process here

Family physicians seeking practice coverage (hosts):

Please complete the host application form and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which highlights host physician rules and responsibilities. After returning your application and signing the MOU, host applicants will be invited to submit their desired days off for matching with locum physicians.

View an infographic of what to expect during the host process here

Questions? Please contact Becky Litt at urbanlocumprogram@victoriadivision.ca