Government is transforming everyday health care for people living in the Central Okanagan by establishing three primary care networks, which will bring additional resources and strengthened support to the region
“We are transforming how people in B.C. access health-care services through the primary care strategy. This means that British Columbians are now getting more opportunities to get the team-based and comprehensive primary care they need, closer to home,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The Central Okanagan Primary Care Network region will support residents in getting access to the patient-centred care they need and deserve.”
The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $11.7 million in annual funding to the primary care network, once it is fully established.
Over the next four years, and across the three networks, residents of the Central Okanagan will benefit from the addition of approximately 79 new full-time equivalent health providers who will provide better access to primary care. This includes family physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and allied health professionals such as social workers, mental health counsellors, a dietitian and Indigenous health co-ordinators.
The Central Okanagan Primary Care Networks will see community partners work 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.
Each network will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers. These three networks will service Central Kelowna, Rutland/Lake Country and West Kelowna/Peachland primary care networks.
The network was developed to better meet the specific needs of the community and to strengthen services identified as high priority. These include:
- better access to chronic disease and chronic pain management;
- 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 and appropriate care for Indigenous people.
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 networks will work to attach approximately 28,580 patients to a consistent primary care provider in the region, while also providing team-based and culturally-safe care to residents.
In addition, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals will be recruited in support of Indigenous health. For Indigenous people, this will mean more co-ordinated and culturally safe and appropriate primary care support.
The primary care networks are a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Heath, the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice and the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
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.