VANCOUVER, B.C. – Health Minister Adrian Dix, along with Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, president of Doctors of BC, announced Wednesday that the province will be supplying $118 million in “stabilization” funding for doctors throughout the province.
Dix says the interim funding will help to keep medical clinics open and “immediately” ease the burden doctors throughout the province are feeling while also helping ensure that their patients can continue to access primary services.
“Ensuring British Columbians get the ongoing primary care they need means supporting B.C.’s family doctors in the ways that help them provide the quality care patients rely on,” Dix said.
“Rising operational costs are affecting their ability to provide patient care, and we’ve been working closely with Doctors of BC to find solutions. This interim stabilization funding to family doctors is a key action in supporting their care to patients as we work to finalize a long-term solution this fall.”
The short-term funding, which will roll out on October 1st, 2022, will be available to family doctors who provide ongoing services to patients and pay overhead costs. Primary care clinics and walk-in clinics that commit to remaining open with consistent hours are also eligible to apply on behalf of the clinic and the physicians staffing it.
This funding, developed in partnership with Doctors of BC, is reportedly part one in the expansion of B.C.’s primary care strategy, which will also include the development of a new compensation model to be announced this fall.
It includes $75 million from the Ministry of Health and $43 million from the General Practices Services Committee, a collaboration of the ministry and Doctors of BC that was established through the physician master agreement. Access to the funding will run until January 31st, 2023.
“This is an important first step to help doctors keep their practices open for patients over a four-month period until we have a longer-term solution to the very real problems in primary care,” said Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, president of Doctors of BC.
“There is still hard work ahead of us to achieve a new payment model that recognizes the pressures of rising business costs and that recognizes the value of family physicians and the time and complexity of providing longitudinal patient care. We want to ensure that everyone has a family doctor who can provide them with the quality care they need and deserve.”
The province says it continues to work with Doctors of BC to create a new physician master agreement, which will also be announced this fall.
“While discussions are underway, general agreements have been reached on key components of the new payment model, including the time spent by family physicians providing primary care services, patient encounters, complexity and attachment,” the province said in a release.
The ministry is also reportedly developing measures to improve access to primary care, including recruitment and retention of healthcare providers.
Learn more about B.C.’s healthcare strategy here.
Thanks for reading!
Energeticcity.ca is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it – but we need your support. Give $10 a month to Energeticcity.ca today and be the reason we can cover the next story.