Shona Brown (left)

Mission-based program helps find physicians

A GP for Me program creates a list of people who currently do not have a family doctor.

A new Mission-based project is trying to match patients with a family physician.

Headquartered in the Mission Division of Family Practice office, the A GP for Me program creates a list of people who currently do not have a family doctor. As openings occur, the person is contacted and directed to a local physician.

“This particular initiative is looking at helping patients find a GP and helping strengthen the bond between physicians and their patients,” said Dr. Carol Pomeroy, physician lead for the project.

She said local doctors examined the needs of the community and looked at gaps in care.

The medical clinic, located on Hurd Street in Mission, has been keeping a list of patients who they know do not have a regular doctor. Other offices in the area have also been keeping a list.

“We will be calling people who do not have a family doctor to come in and meet with a doctor here,” said Shona Brown, executive director for the Mission Division of Family Practice.

Once all of their information has been gathered, patients names will go on a list and as opening occur, they will be matched with a local physician.

According to their research, more than 8,000 people in the Mission area do not have a family doctor.

“Now some of those people might be people who actually don’t feel the need for a family physician or don’t want one. So a small percentage of those aren’t looking for one,” said Pomeroy.

Once word of this program spreads, Brown feels the office will get a number of people phoning with the hopes they can be matched.

Creating the list is one step, finding a physician with the ability to take on more patients is another.

“We have a little bit of room in our practices and have been trying to fit people in but there are people we haven’t been able to help,” said Pomeroy.

“There is a shortage of doctors across this country. It’s not Mission specific at all,” added Brown.

For more on the program, call 604-820-1021 or visit divisionsbc.ca/mission.