The province is launching 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission, to provide health care for British Columbians who do not have family doctors.
The networks will cost $78.54 million, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday (Sept. 15).
Primary care networks are clinical networks of providers in a geographic area where patients receive expanded, comprehensive care and improved access to primary care.
“Primary care networks will become the backbone of team-based care in B.C.,” Dix said. “The idea is that we’re not just adding health professionals… we need to work together to give patients the care they need.”
According to the Mission Division of Family Practice, “In the first year, Mission Primary Care Network will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker. These professionals will be enhancing access to primary care through the Primary Care Clinic in Mission, the Mission Maternity Clinic, enhanced mental health and substance use services and supporting Mission’s enhanced Indigenous health outreach strategy to increase patient attachment in the Mission community.”
There are currently 17 existing primary care networks in B.C. The 22 new ones have so far hired 270 health-care workers including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals.
“Through primary care networks, we are providing team-based health care and giving people a seamless patient-centred experience that is responsive to the unique needs of each community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in a media release. “The primary care networks…will bring meaningful change in the communities by helping more local residents access the comprehensive care they need and deserve, closer to home.”
The networks will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers. The networks were developed to better meet the specific needs of the community and to strengthen services identified as high priority. Among the services that may be provided:
* increased access to primary care supports to unattached patients;
* improved access to mild to moderate mental health and substance use services;
* culturally safe primary care for Indigenous peoples; and
* better co-ordinated services for families and seniors who are frail and people with complex health issues.
The list of new primary care networks includes 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.