Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

‘Our primary care strategy and the networks are providing a real solution to people so they can get the care they need, closer to home’, said BC Health Minister Adrian Dix


According to information released on Tuesday, by the BC Ministry of Health, people in British Columbia will soon have more options to get quality team-based health care closer to home.

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 BC,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “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.”

Government will provide approximately $110 million in annual funding to the primary care networks once they are fully established.

The team of health-care providers will include family physicians, nurse practitioners and health-care professionals, ranging from registered nurses, traditional wellness co-ordinators and cultural safety facilitators to allied health-care professionals, social workers and clinical pharmacists.

I asked what kind of mix there will be with these new 660* medical professionals (doctors, nurse practitioners, and from the other healthcare professionals)? A ministry spokesperson responded by stating:

In addition to family physicians and nurse practitioners, new positions include registered nurses, allied health professionals, social workers and Indigenous coordinators. Local Elders will be supported to provide traditional wellness and peer support, as champions in their communities.

These new networks will see community partners, local health-care providers and Indigenous partners work together to ensure patients have access to a full range of team-based primary care services, from maternity to end of life, for all of their day-to-day health-care needs. In addition, they have been designed to address primary care priorities of individual communities such as:

  • providing better access to chronic disease and chronic pain management;
  • improving access to mental-health and substance-use services; 
  • culturally safe and appropriate care for Indigenous peoples; 
  • helping to co-ordinate services for vulnerable people with complex health issues; and
  • providing comprehensive services for people living in poverty.

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

The primary care networks will be in Comox, southern Vancouver Island, Cowichan, Oceanside, White Rock/South Surrey, Chilliwack/Fraser rural, Mission, Central Okanagan, Central Interior rural, Kootenay Boundary, East Kootenay and Vancouver.

Over the next three to four years, across all networks, the team of health-care providers will see hundreds of thousands of patient visits annually.

And where these clinics will be located, I asked? To which I was told that in over next three years Adrian’s Dix’s health ministry aims to have the primary care networks in 70% of BC communities.

About 17% of people in British Columbia report not having a primary care provider. This means that these people often have to wait long hours in walk-in clinics or at their local emergency departments to get the care they need. Our primary care strategy and the networks are providing a real solution to people so they can get the care they need, closer to home,” Dix said.

Indigenous partners, including community leaders, have been involved in the development of primary care networks, from planning to governance, and advise on the implementation of primary care. Local Elders will be supported to offer traditional knowledge, cultural support, and leadership to their communities. For Indigenous peoples, this will mean more co-ordinated and culturally safe and appropriate primary care support such as traditional healers and Indigenous navigators.

These new networks are expected to help connect approximately 300,000 people to a local primary care team or provider, while providing team-based and culturally safe care to BC residents. 

I asked if there wouldn’t be concerns in finding the numbers of health care professionals which would be needed to staff these new clinics – and if it wouldn’t cause problems for existing health care practices and clinics in the province – for example getting new staff to replace those who will be retiring, on medical or maternity leaves, or for other reasons?

The ministry responded with comments which made by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, at a Question and Answer session, on Tuesday (September 15th):

“ ... with respect to nurse practitioners, for example, we have drastically increased the number of practitioners we train in BC, and we are doing that now. Obviously, all of those people are already nurses and are seeking an advanced degree to be nurse practitioners.

From my perspective, that's a big challenge, and that's why a new nursing program in Fort St John, to build out there, new health sciences programs in Prince George, and we're building out. And we need to, obviously, train more people. And that's a significant part in every part of health care.

... the health human resources question is an important question, and there are some challenges ... I'm confident, as we build out primary care networks that we're going to attract the staff we need, both doctors and nurse practitioners, but also other staff/people ... that are defined by communities as being needed.

These supports, building out teams and supports through primary care networks are attractive to bringing primary physicians, to bringing family doctors to communities. These proposals ... were developed with the cooperation and support of divisions of family practice ... they said what the community needed and what combination of services and additions were important in their communities and they worked with us to come to a final agreement on what we would be funding and going forward with ...”

British Columbia currently has 39 primary care networks underway, including 12 in Vancouver Coastal, 14 in Fraser Health, five in Island Health, five in Interior Health and one in Northern Health, with more coming.


* the following is information into which health regions the 660 new medical professionals be located:


Popular posts from this blog

THE SIDEWINDER -- Just quit your constant damned whining and do something positive about it

  Living in a democracy is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibilities such as voting and being involved. When the dust settled on Saturdays (October 24 th ) BC election, less than two thirds of the eligible voters * took the time to vote - but the loudest bitchers will probably be among the more than one third of voters who sat on their asses and complained about how all politicians are crooks, etc. How many of you constant whiners have ever done anything close to becoming involved; or do you just like sniveling to hear your own voice? Are you one the arseholes who likes to take advantage of everything our democracy has to offer, without ever contributing anything? And I don't want to listen to your crap about paying taxes, blah, blah, blah. There's more to making democracy work than simply voting and then sitting back and let others carry the ball for you. Too many people seem unwilling to get involved - and follow-up - to make sure elected po

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


I have just struggled through Cheryl Ashlie's column ( MacDuff’s Call: A political novice with a sizeable ego ), in the Sept. 22 edition of The Maple Ridge News. To say the least, Ashlie's comments are naive and show just how totally out of touch she has become with political reality. Ashlie lauds the decision of Darryl Plecas to accept John Horgan's invitation to become the Speaker of the House, a move described by almost everyone else as self-serving and a betrayal of the trust of the constituents who voted for him. Ashlie claims Plecas' turncoat move will help provide good governance but in making this claim, she fails to explain how he will achieve this lofty goal.


Show more