The province’s first urgent primary care centre is expanding with the opening of a Family Practice Learning Centre, announced Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“This is another step in how we are improving access to primary health care in the Thompson Okanagan region immediately, and over the longer term,” said Dix. “The Family Practice Learning Centre (FPLC) is a first of it kind initiative that pairs people without a primary care provider with University of British Columbia (UBC) family medicine residents to receive ongoing team based care and treatment.”
“By being co-located with the Urgent Primary Care Centre, it will help deliver primary care services people currently need. Furthermore, it increases the number of opportunities for medical residents to be trained and supported in team-based care in Kamloops. This provides the foundation for these new physicians to continue serving patients in this region going forward,” explained Dix.
Interior Health has collaborated with the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Family Practice and the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice to develop the FPLC, located within B.C.’s first Urgent Primary Care Centre, which has seen nearly a 1,000 patients since opening in Kamloops in June 2018. The FPLC program enables residents to gain more hands-on experience under the guidance of eight fully licensed family physicians.
Patients will be referred through the HealthLink BC Kamloops waitlist, with priority going to people who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, but who have an illness or injury that requires immediate ongoing care. Since opening on Aug. 27, 2018, 32 patients have had appointments at the FPLC. Patients seeing a physician at the Family Practice Learning Centre will also have access to the team-based practice in the Urgent Primary Care Centre, which includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physiotherapists and social workers.
“Training in a community is a powerful incentive for young physicians to stay and build their practice in that community,” said Doug Cochrane, Interior Health board chair. “This learning centre will improve services for patients currently without doctors in Kamloops by attaching them to a clinic where there is co-ordinated, comprehensive and quality care provided through team-based care.”
“The overall goals of the FPLC are to build family-care capacity in the community, provide access through timely appointments, help patients find a primary care provider, and promote team-based health care,” said Dr. Selena Lawrie, clinical instructor with UBC’s family medicine program and an Interior Health board member. “The model creates the opportunity for patients to be attached to the clinic for their immediate follow-up care. Patients could potentially then transfer from the clinic if a family practice resident chooses to open his or her own practice in the community at the end of training.”
“This is encouraging for the future of family medicine in our community. To further support team-based care as part of a family practice resident’s training will, hopefully, help primary care progress in this community and encourage our future doctors to stay locally,” said Dr. Chip Bantock, past chair of the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice. “We are fortunate to be able to collaborate in this way with our partners and to have the support of busy family physicians to put time into teaching.”
- The Urgent Primary Care Centre (UPCC), which saw its first patient on June 12, 2018, provides team-based care to patients referred by the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department. These patients have non-emergent illnesses or injuries, but ones that should be seen within a 24-hour period.
- The Kamloops UPCC has seen 959 patients from the emergency department of Royal Inland Hospital since opening.
- The FPLC will operate Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and every second Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 311 Columbia St., on the street-front of Royal Inland Hospital’s Clinical Services Building.
- The creation of the centre is a result of sustained efforts to address the primary care shortage in Kamloops, through a partnership with the Interior Health, the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice and the UBC Family Medicine Residency Program.
- The Kamloops Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre is one of 10 urgent primary care centres planned for British Columbia.
- Urgent primary care centres are a key part of B.C.’s new primary health-care strategy, which is focused on improving services for patients through team-based care. Through the strategy, government is providing funding over three years to recruit 200 family doctors and 200 nurse practitioners, and to hire 50 clinical pharmacists. These positions will help provide B.C. residents with faster and improved access to health care.
To learn more about the Province’s Primary Health-care Strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010
To see a tour of the Kamloops Urgent Primary Care Centre, visit: https://youtu.be/M_3YRIuCwBg