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Improving primary care in Central Interior

Improving primary care in Central Interior

September 15, 2020 at 6:51 pm  BC, News, Politics

Government is transforming everyday health care for people living in the Central Interior rural region by establishing a primary care network, which will bring additional resources and strengthened support to the region.

“As part of our government’s primary care strategy, we’re transforming the way people in every corner of the province access health care. We’re establishing primary care networks to provide team-based care that meets the unique needs of communities and people,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The primary care network in Central Interior rural will support residents in getting access to the patient-centred care they need and deserve.”

The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $4.42 million in annual funding to the primary care network once it is fully established.

Over the next four years, residents of the Central Interior will benefit from approximately 31 full-time equivalent health providers who will provide better access to primary care. This includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners, Aboriginal patient navigators and allied health professionals, such as social workers, mental health counsellors, dietitians, respiratory therapist, and a traditional wellness co-ordinator.

The network of team-based primary care providers will see community partners work together to ensure tens of thousands of people have access to comprehensive, co-ordinated and team-based primary care services for all of their day-to-day health-care needs in the region.

The network will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers. It will service Williams Lake, 100 Mile and surrounding communities.

The network was developed to better meet the specific needs of the community and to strengthen services identified as high priority. These include:

  • better access to chronic disease management;
  • improved access to services for individuals with mild to moderate mental-health and substance-use services;
  • better co-ordinated services for families and seniors who are frail and people with complex health issues;
  • more access to comprehensive services for people living in poverty; and
  • culturally safe care and appropriate care for Indigenous people.

For people and families, it means getting faster, better access to their primary care team or provider, even on evenings and weekends, as well as being connected to appropriate services and supports in the community.

Over the next four years, the network will work to attach approximately 6,900 patients to a consistent primary care provider in the region.

In addition, a traditional wellness co-ordinator, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals will be recruited in support of Indigenous health in Tsilhquot’in Nation, Secwepemc Nation and the Dakelh Dene Nation. For Indigenous peoples, this will mean more co-ordinated and culturally safe primary care support.

The primary care network is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Heath, the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice, Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in and Dakelh Dene Nations and the First Nation Health Authority.

Learn More:

To learn more about how patients can register, visit to be attached to a family physician or nurse practitioner visit: https://www.divisionsbc.ca/mission

To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of nurse practitioners, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0034-000995

To learn more about the Province’s strategy to recruit and retain more family medicine graduates, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0052-001043

Two backgrounders follow.

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