Imagine the regular convenience of consulting with your doctor over the phone – it may seem like an idea whose time came a long time ago, but a recent joint press release from the B.C. government’s Ministry of Health and the BC Medical Association indicates that funding for such a patient-friendly procedure will mean such a logical service option will be available in this province as of April 1.
Also set to kick in on the same date are “incentives for physicians to take more patients with complex conditions, such as cancer, onto their caseloads…” as well as “funding to support local physician groups to work collaboratively with health authorities to support better local access to primary care.”
These and other revelations have been touted amid much fanfare with the announcement of a program called “A GP For Me,” intended to enable all citizens who want one to be able to secure the services of a family doctor by 2015.
The launching of the program was overseen by BCMA president Dr. Shelley Ross and Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid who said, “We know that a strong primary care system built around continuous doctor-patient relationships can improve health outcomes for patients. This new program will make it easier for physicians to provide high-quality care to their patients, and in many cases ease their workload so that they can accept more patients into their practices.”
Trial runs of the program have been completed in areas including Cowichan Valley, Prince George and White Rock-South Surrey. More than 9,000 citizens who did not have family doctors, now, reportedly, do.
“Moving forward, the resources will be in place for those British Columbians who are looking for a family doctor, to be able to have one,” said Ross.