Government is transforming everyday health care for communities in southern Vancouver Island regions by establishing two primary care networks, which will bring additional resources and strengthened support to the region.
“As part of our government’s primary care strategy, we’re making life healthier and better for everyone in B.C. Through primary care networks, we are providing team-based health care and giving people a seamless patient-centred experience that is responsive to the unique needs of each community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The primary care networks in the Saanich Peninsula and western communities will bring meaningful change in the communities by helping more local residents access the comprehensive care they need and deserve, closer to home.”
The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $4.9 million in annual funding to the Saanich Peninsula primary care network once it is fully established, and approximately $10.3 million in annual funding for the western communities once it is fully established.
To date, 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care providers have been recruited and are working as part of the two primary care networks.
Over the next four years, and across the two networks, residents will benefit from a total of almost 79 FTE health-care professionals who will provide better access to primary care. This includes 29 FTE health-care professionals in the Saanich Peninsula primary care network and 50 FTE health care professionals in the western communities primary care network.
The team of health professionals includes family physicians, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals such as registered nurses, social workers and clinical pharmacists.
The Saanich Peninsula and western communities primary care networks will see community partners working together to ensure tens of thousands of people have access to comprehensive, co-ordinated and team-based primary care services for all of their day-to-day health-care needs on southern Vancouver Island.
The networks will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers. The networks were developed to better meet the specific needs of the community and to strengthen services identified as high priority. These include:
- increased access to primary care supports to unattached patients;
- improved access to mild to moderate mental health and substance use services;
- culturally safe primary care for Indigenous peoples; and
- better co-ordinated services for families and seniors who are frail and people with complex health issues.
For people and families, it means getting faster, better access to their primary care team or provider, even on evenings and weekends, as well as being connected to appropriate services and supports in the community.
Over the next four years, the western communities and Saanich Peninsula networks will attach 51,000 patients, while also providing team-based and culturally safe care to local residents.
In addition, Indigenous health and wellness providers including an Indigenous wellness support coach and cultural safety facilitator will be recruited in support of Indigenous health. For Indigenous peoples, this will mean more co-ordinated and culturally safe primary care support.
The Saanich Peninsula Primary Care network is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the South Island Division of Family Practice, W̱SÁNEĆ First Nation communities of Tseycum, Tsawout, Tsartlip and Pauquachin, patient partners, First Nations Health Authority, Island Health and municipalities.
The Western Communities Primary Care Network is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, South Island Division of Family Practice, local First Nations communities of T’Sou-ke, Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Pacheedaht (Port Renfrew), Songhees and Esquimalt, Island Health, patient partners and municipalities.
To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010
To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of nurse practitioners, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0034-000995
To learn more about the Province’s strategy to recruit and retain more family medicine graduates, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0052-001043
Two backgrounders follow.