People living in the Kootenay Boundary region will have better access to primary health care with the creation and implementation of a primary care network in the region.
“Team-based care that responds to the needs of each community is going to be the backbone of the new primary care system in B.C. and will transform how patients' everyday health-care needs are met today, tomorrow and beyond,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “By establishing new primary care networks, as part of our primary care strategy, we are strengthening health care supports to address long-standing gaps in everyday health care for people in B.C., including those living in the Kootenay Boundary region.”
Government will provide $5.3 million in annual funding to the Kootenay Boundary primary care network when fully established.
Over the next three years, residents will benefit from approximately an additional 33 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care providers who will provide better access to primary care in the communities. This will include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, allied health professionals, a clinic pharmacist, an Aboriginal health co-ordinator, one manager and one administrative support staff.
The Kootenay Boundary primary care network involved consultation with the Kootenay Boundary Aboriginal Services Collaborative. The Kootenay Boundary Aboriginal Services Collaborative has representation from the Ktunaxa Nation, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Métis Nation, and the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society. All partners continue to be involved in the implementation of the network.
“I wish to offer congratulations to the provincial government, the health districts and to the social investment sector for accomplishing this outstanding partnership,” said Sophie Pierre, Elder and former Chief, Ktunaxa Nation. “When First Nations and Métis benefit from such collaboration, all people of the Province benefit.”
Allan Louis, Syilx Nation health governance representative, said: “Syilx (Okanagan) Nation is pleased to support the announcement of the primary care network in the Kootenay Boundary. Improving the health of all Aboriginal people in Syilx territory is a key goal of Syilx leadership. Through these innovative collaborations, we look forward to our continued progress in implementing our partnership with Interior Health and the Divisions of Family Practice.”
The new health-care providers in the network will work to attach the approximately 15,250 people who do not have a consistent primary care provider in the region, while providing team-based care to residents of the Kootenay Boundary. It will address the specific needs of the population, while ensuring there is a team-based approach to providing culturally safe care. These include strengthened supports and services for:
- better access to chronic disease and chronic pain management services;
- improved access to services for individuals with mild to moderate mental health and substance-use services;
- better co-ordinated services for families and seniors who are frail and people with complex health issues;
- improved access to maternity care;
- more access to comprehensive services for people living in poverty; and
- culturally safe care for Indigenous peoples.
For people and families, it means getting faster, better access to their primary care team or provider, including evenings and weekends, as well as being connected to appropriate services and supports in the community.
In addition to family physicians and nurse practitioners, new positions include registered nurses, allied health professionals, social workers, and Aboriginal health co-ordinators.
The Kootenay Boundary primary care network is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice, the Ktunaxa Nation, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
The network will serve people in Trail, Castlegar, Nelson, Nakusp, Kaslo, Grand Forks, Salmo and surrounding communities.
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.