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Health

Improving primary care in Central Okanagan

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Health

Improving primary care in Central Okanagan

Media Contacts
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
Interior Health
Communications
media@interiorhealth.ca
844 469-7077
Media Contacts
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
Interior Health
Communications
media@interiorhealth.ca
844 469-7077

Backgrounders

Facts about the Central Okanagan primary care

According to BC Stats data, the communities that the Central Okanagan primary care networks (PCN) will serve have a combined population of 204,449. Services will be available in the districts of Kelowna, Rutland, Lake Country, West Kelowna, and Peachland.

Primary care networks mean that patients:

  • who don’t have a regular primary care provider - a family doctor or nurse practitioner - will be able to get one;
  • will have an ongoing relationship with their primary care provider, which is important for their life-long health;
  • will get access to faster, more convenient care from their doctor or nurse practitioner and the care team;
  • will be provided and connected with a range of appropriate and accessible services and supports;
  • will be informed about all aspects of their care in community; and
  • will know where to go to get the care they need, even on evenings and weekends.

New resources being allocated include:

Central Kelowna PCN

  • 1.0 FTE family physicians
  • 0.5 FTE nurse practitioners
  • 32.2FTE registered nurses
  • 8.0 FTE allied health professionals
  • 1.0 FTE pharmacist
  • 0.5 FTE Indigenous health nurse practitioner
  • 1.0 FTE Indigenous health co-ordinator

Rutland/Lake Country PCN

  • 1.0 FTE family physicians
  • 1.5 FTE nurse practitioners
  • 4.6 FTE registered nurses
  • 6.0 FTE allied health professionals
  • 1.0 FTE pharmacist
  • 0.5 FTE Indigenous health nurse practitioner
  • 1.0 FTE Indigenous health co-ordinator

West Kelowna/Peachland PCN

  • 2.0 FTE family physicians
  • 2.0 FTE nurse practitioners
  • 5.75 FTE registered nurses
  • 5.0 FTE allied health professionals
  • 0.8 FTE Indigenous health nurse practitioner
  • 1.0 FTE Indigenous health co-ordinator
  • 1.0 FTE pharmacist

Additionally, the Ministry of Health has approved two FTE nurse practitioners with an attachment target of 1,000 per nurse practitioners to be placed at the discretion of the Primary Care Network Steering Committee. 

What people are saying about primary care networks

Dr. Doug Cochrane, board chair, Interior Health –

“Partnerships with Indigenous communities and the division of family practice are foundational to our approach to building and sustaining a system of strong, culturally safe health services in the Central Okanagan region and across Interior Health. By working together with our partners, including the Syilx Nation, specifically the Westbank First Nation, Métis and Urban Aboriginal communities, we know the primary care networks will reflect the unique cultural and health-care needs of the communities they serve.”

Allan Louis, Syilx (Okanagan) Nation health governance representative –

“Syilx (Okanagan) Nation is pleased to support the announcement of the Primary Care Network in the central Okanagan. 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.”

Dr. Michael Koss, physician lead, Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice –

“Our community will benefit from the team-based, longitudinal care that underpins the primary care network. Our family physicians working closely in teams with nurses and allied health professionals to provide care, will enable us to see more patients and to enhance our services based on the needs of our patients, both in person and virtually.”

Dr. Kathleen Ross, 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 additional needed resources to doctors serving their community, especially those that strengthen longitudinal care in these pandemic times. 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.”  

Michael Sandler, executive director, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC –

“The Association of the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC is pleased that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will improve access to health care for British Columbians through the new primary care network. 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.” 

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