The Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC have reached a tentative agreement that respects government’s bargaining mandate and addresses key health-care issues facing British Columbians.
“I’d like to thank Doctors of BC for coming to the table and negotiating an agreement that addresses important health-care issues facing B.C. families while meeting government’s need to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Over the past year, we have worked hard with doctors in this province to collaborate on strategies that improve physician services for patients and this agreement continues this work.”
The new agreement includes provisions to help address some of B.C.’s most pressing health-care challenges, as identified in the ministry’s strategic plan, Setting Priorities for the BC Health Care System. Funding from the agreement will target: improving access to primary care; increasing health-care services in rural and remote communities; and continuing to recruit and retain both family physicians and specialists.
“In this challenging economic time and in a tough bargaining environment, we have successfully negotiated a strong tentative agreement that is a good deal for our patients and for doctors,” said Dr. Bill Cavers, president of Doctors of BC. “The settlement provides targeted funding to improve services we provide to patients, as well as funding to cover rising physician overhead costs. It also includes a first-of-its kind initiative that will see better engagement between doctors in hospitals and other facilities with administrators. This will promote innovation and help to build a stronger health-care system.”
“This long-term agreement provides fiscal certainty within today’s economic reality, helping government manage health-care costs while continuing to achieve better health outcomes for patients,” Finance Minister Michael de Jong said.
The proposed five-year agreement runs until March 31, 2019, and covers approximately 10,000 specialists and family physicians in the province. Over the coming weeks, Doctors of BC will work toward ratifying this agreement with their membership. Ratification is expected to conclude in early December.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)