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BC government now covers up data on doctor shortages at primary care clinics

BC Liberal health commentator Shirley Bond has accused the government of reducing transparency.

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The Ministry of Health has changed the way it reports staffing levels for emergency primary care centers. Critics say the center deliberately hides how understaffed it is from family doctors.

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To determine if the state’s 30 centers are facing a shortage of primary care physicians, Postmedia News asked the Department of Health for the latest headcount.

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According to a document leaked in May by the BC Liberal Party called the “Primary Care Workforce Supplement,” most emergency primary care centers (UPCCs) have only a fraction of the family doctors they should be. It has been shown.

Documents covering the period from February 4th to March 3rd showed:Or, for example, the Westshore Emergency Primary Care Center, which should have had seven full-time doctors, only had one.

However, the most recent document provided to Postmedia News, which covers the period from 24 June to 21 July 2022, is for family physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed practicing nurses, allied health professionals, clinical It brings together all full-time staff, including pharmacists, indigenous resources. — into one category.

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As such, it is impossible to determine how many family physicians work at each emergency primary care center.

The document shows that primary care centers in the Island Health area continue to struggle with staffing. Six centers in the region have 88 full-time clinical staff, with 46 positions short of the 134 approved positions.

Interior Health needs an additional 20 clinical staff before reaching full staffing at seven centers. Fraser Health has employed 69 of the 80 full-time clinical staff approved at six centers.

Staffing at Vancouver Coastal Health has improved, with 92 full-time clinical staff now in place out of 97 approved positions. Northern Health is only one of her 13 full-time employees approved at its two centers.

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BC Liberal health commentator Shirley Bond criticizes the government for reducing transparency when people in British Columbia without a family doctor want to know where to turn for urgent medical needs. criticized.

“It is natural for this government to know that the willingness to provide specific details about individual UPCCs is again waning,” she said. “British her Columbians deserve to know her UPCC status across the state.”

BC Liberals are calling for a review of primary care centers to determine whether the health authority’s operating system of team-based care is working.

Health Minister Adrian Dix has touted these centers and the larger system of team-based primary care networks as a way for people without a primary care doctor to receive same-day appointments in urgent need. , to make patients feel attached to a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional in their team who can provide them with ongoing care.

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However, the center struggles to keep up with patient demand and often puts up signs early in the morning saying they are fully booked for the day.

Chilliwack Family Physician Darren Joneson is concerned that the government is spending millions of tax dollars on clinics without consulting them on how best to run clinics. stated that staffing levels are an indirect measure of whether people are receiving the care they need. .

Chilliwack’s Emergency Primary Care Center has only one doctor. Joneson heard from a family doctor who turned down a job at the center because he was unhappy with the way it was run by health authorities.

“We don’t have a lot of support from family doctors for this current UPCC rollout, and we found it difficult to get a family doctor there,” said Jones, who opened a team-based clinic. 2020 Spectrum Medical.

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“So I think they’re talking on their feet. And, you know, it looks like ministries are finally listening to us.”

kderosa@postmedia.com


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BC government now covers up data on doctor shortages at primary care clinics

Source link BC government now covers up data on doctor shortages at primary care clinics

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