Faster, better access to team-based primary care coming to Prince George (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)

Backgrounders

What people are saying about team-based care

Colleen Nyce, board chair, Northern Health —

“We believe that an integrated system of primary and community care is foundational to a strong and vibrant health-care system in the North. We are very pleased to be a partner with health-care professionals, the Prince George Division of Family Practice and the First Nations Health Authority in this endeavour. We are grateful to the Province of B.C. for making this opportunity available to the people of Prince George.”

Dr. Eric Cadesky, president, Doctors of BC —

“The best health-care systems in the world have strong primary care and we hope that the primary-care network initiative provides needed resources to doctors serving their community. A primary-care network will collectively increase a community’s capacity to provide greater access to primary care for those who need it, especially for vulnerable patients and those with complex health conditions.”

Sue Peck, director and NP council president, BC Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia —

“Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of B.C. are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will be utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through the new primary-care networks. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families feel connected to their health-care team, and we are excited to see the launch of primary-care networks in B.C."

Dr. Garry Knoll, chair of the board,  Prince George Division of Family Practice —

“The Prince George Division of Family Practice is very excited for this opportunity to co-lead the development of a primary care network and an urgent and primary care centre. The PCN and the UPCC will bring needed team-based care resources to Prince George and help us build on the solid foundation of full scope family practice that the physicians in this community have been working on for many years."

Prince George Urgent and Primary-Care Clinic

The new urgent and primary-care centre in Prince George is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Northern Health, the Prince George Division of Family Practice, Doctors of BC and First Nations Health Authority.   

  • The urgent and primary-care clinic will be located in the Parkwood Place Mall, 1600 15th Ave.
  • By June 2019, the centre will be open to the public for drop in urgent-care services between Monday and Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and all-day Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The centre will also offer follow-up services during the day from Monday to Friday to urgent and primary-care patients, as recommended by the urgent and primary-care team.
  • Along with general primary care, services will also be available for marginalized or vulnerable individuals who may struggle to make or keep appointments with their regular primary-care provider, including mental health professionals.
  • Annual staffing and operating costs are projected at approximately $1 million. One-time startup costs are estimated at $200,000.
  • Primary care is the day-to-day health care given by a health-care provider.
  • Urgent primary care is the care that people need within 12 to 24 hours, for conditions such as sprains, urinary problems, ear infections, minor cuts or burns.
  • This is the province’s eighth urgent and primary-care centre to be announced. Centres also exist in Kamloops, Quesnel, Victoria’s West Shore, Surrey, Vancouver’s downtown/west end, Burnaby and Nanaimo.
Prince George primary-care network

The Prince George primary-care network is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Northern Health, the Prince George Division of Family Practice, First Nations Health Authority, Central Interior Native Health Society and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.  

The network consists of Prince George, surrounding areas and the community of Lheidli T’enneh. The Prince George local health area has a population of approximately 91,000 and is expected to increase to over 92,000 by 2024.

Through the network, all of Prince George’s 32 primary-care clinics and two community health centres will be working together to provide team-based care to the entire population.

With the new and existing providers, the network will improve access to care, strengthen support for patients and providers, and community partners will work to attach 2,000 patients in Prince George to regular primary care over the next three years.

New resources being allocated include:

Prince George community health centres:  

  • Blue Pine Clinic and Central Interior Native Health Society Community Health Centres: one general practitioner, one nurse practitioner and one Elder who will provide primary-care services, five days a week.
  • Working together, they will provide culturally safe and appropriate care to approximately 700 new complex and vulnerable patients over the next three years.

Interprofessional teams:

  • Twenty-five nursing and allied health professionals and one clinical pharmacist will provide quality, comprehensive team-based care to Prince George and help facilitate attaching an additional 1,300 patients to a primary-care provider over the next three years.

Primary-care network management:

  • One manager and one administrative support worker.

How people can access primary-care networks:

  • A provincial website will be established for the networks to provide information to patients, including which clinics are part of the network, services provided and hours of operation, as well as how to access services and become attached to a practice.
  • Each network will actively communicate with its community as it grows its services so that people living in the community know how and where to access the health services they need.

Primary-care network attributes include:

  • processes to ensure all people in a community have access to quality primary care and are attached within a primary-care network;
  • provision of extended hours of care, including early mornings, evenings and weekends;
  • provision of same-day access for urgently needed care through the primary-care network or an urgent and primary-care centre;
  • access to advice and information virtually (e.g., online, text and email) and face to face;
  • provision of comprehensive primary-care services through networking of primary-care providers and teams, to include maternity, inpatient, residential, mild/moderate mental health and substance use, and preventative care;
  • co-ordination of care with diagnostic services, hospital care, specialty care and specialized community services for all patients, with a particular emphasis on those with mental-health and substance-use conditions, those with complex medical conditions and/or frailty and surgical services provided in community;
  • clear communication within the network of providers and to the public to create awareness about appropriate use of services; and
  • care that is culturally safe and appropriate.