Speak Up for Primary Health Care Solutions

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Band-aid solutions are being promoted over what patients and primary health care providers actually need.

‘Situation Critical’ - Tomorrow, September 20th, 2022 at 6pm the CBC will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall on the crisis in health care. The discussion will address “access to doctors, what's not working and what needs to change.” Speakers include: Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, BC; Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, President of Doctors of BC and Dr. Rita McCracken, family physician and UBC assistant professor and primary care researcher.

If informed supporters and community partners call or email in to the Virtual Town Hall we can promote real solutions to the Primary Health Care crisis. CBC email and call-in details here

BC is experiencing a Primary Health Care access crisis, which is continually attributed to a family physician shortage. However, BC currently has more family physicians per capita than at any other time. The actual crisis is that our current Primary Health Care model is unsustainable for health care practitioners to work in. Band-aid solutions like one-time injections of money and increasing investments in... walk-in clinic style care will not increase the access to comprehensive, longitudinal team-based primary health care that BC residents deeply need.

To the dissatisfaction of many family physicians, policy analysts and public health care advocates, Doctors of BC (formally known as the British Columbia Medical Association) continually focuses on MD pay as the only solution and resists the structural changes needed. In fact, BC has a long history of focusing on MD pay alone, including through large investments, incentives and changes to the fee-for-service payment model. The evidence over the past 20 years shows that these payment reforms did not result in increases to primary care visits or continuity of care for patients and instead have likely driven inequities in access.

We can’t let the organization Doctors of BC dominate this conversation. We are asking our partners and supporters to call in or send a question by email and take back the conversation.

Click Here to Take Action


Infrastructure Investment and Global Funding: We need massive system infrastructure investments that fund primary care in the same way we fund hospitals or schools. For this we need GLOBAL FUNDING to clinics so that a clinic’s building, utilities, IT systems and staffing are paid for directly by the government and not via physician payments as is now the case. Global funding would offer alternative payment plan options to physicians and other health care professionals who are willing to commit to longitudinal, community-based primary care that include sick/vacation pay, parental leave and team supports.

This would:

  • allow patients to find primary care in their area in the same way they would find a school for their child
  • provide communities with access to physicians who can see patients for longer than the standard fee-for-service 10-minute visit
  • allow patients to have continued access to primary health care providers who know their health history
  • strengthen and build team-based care
  • allow physicians and other health professionals to take holidays, get time off or retire more easily
  • remove or minimize the problem of physicians struggling with the cost of overhead

Community Health Centres: These are community-governed, non-profit primary health care organizations that provide integrated health care and social services with a focus on social determinants of health. The government should recommit to its pre-2017 plan to establish at least one Community Health Centre per year in each health authority.

Community Health Centres provide:

  • team-based interprofessional primary health care that includes a range of health care and social service providers
  • more responsive care to the patients/members they serve through community-governance models
  • integrated medical care, mental health care, nutritional education programs, substance use services, health promotion, chronic disease management programs, and multi-cultural and Indigenous programming
  • comprehensive services that address the social determinants of health and prevent acute illness among groups who are more likely to experience poor health and suffer from chronic conditions
  • better access to health and community services in rural communities

Situation Critical: virtual Town Hall Tomorrow, September 20 at 6 p.m. PT about the health care crisis in BC. Email and call-in details here

In attendance will be:

  • Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, President of Doctors of BC
  • Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, BC
  • Rita McCracken, family physician and UBC assistant professor and primary care researcher

Ayendri, BC Health Coalition

British Columbia Health Coalition · 3102 Main St, 302, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories, BC V5T 3G7, Canada
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