B.C. health-care system strengthened by new payment model for doctors (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Aileen Machell

Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
250 361-5381

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

Sharon Shore

Media Relations
Doctors of BC
604 787-3702


New tentative physician master agreement
  • Most physicians are independent contractors. Their services are paid for through fees, contractual arrangements and other incentive programs negotiated in the physician master agreement.
  • Unlike public-sector employees, physicians are typically responsible for the overhead costs associated with operating their practices, which can include but is not limited to information management and information technology infrastructure, medical equipment, clerical support and office space. 
  • Total incremental cost increase of $708 million by the end of the third year.
    • This includes funding for payment increases for all physicians.
  • Additional monetary allocations include:
    • expansion of the business cost premium.
    • adjustments to alternative payment rates to address issues of income disparity, as well as new hourly premiums for after-hours services.
    • funding to support full-service family practice, in-patient care and primary-care refresh through the Family Practice Services Committee (formerly the General Practitioners Services Committee), as well as additional funding for new/adjusted family physician fees.
    • specialist disparity funding to support recruitment and retention.
    • increased funding for rural programs.
    • an increase for annual after hours Medical On Call Availability Program rates.
    • maintaining and enhancing physician benefits.
    • funding to support additional full-time equivalents to meet increased demand for services being provided through alternative payment mechanisms.

Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)
New full-service family doctor payment model

The Province worked with Doctors of BC to develop a new payment model for community-based full-service family doctors.

This new payment option combines the best aspects taken from multiple payment models. It recognizes time, access, attachment and complexity, unlike other models that only recognizes one or some.

It is not a contract and does not involve health authorities. Family doctors who are eligible and interested may start to register in January 2023 through Health Insurance BC.

Family doctors will start benefiting from this payment model agreement in February 2023. The goals are to:

  • promote patient access and attachment throughout B.C. to community  full-service family practices;
  • support the integration of family practices within a system of primary care, inclusive of patient medical homes, primary care networks, health authority specialized services and acute care; and
  • provide a stable payment mechanism that is attractive to a large proportion of family physicians who provide community  full-service family medicine and those who seek to provide such services.

To be eligible for the new model,  full-service family doctors must:

  • provide  full-service family physician services to a known panel of patients for a minimum of one day per week.
  • work with other physicians and health-care providers in their community to provide care
  • use simplified time and encounter billing codes.
  • encourage patients to participate in a provincially administered primary-care survey.
  • develop and provide a list of their active patients to a provincial system by July 1, 2023. The list needs to be confirmed on an annual basis.
  • The list of active patients will be used to generate the panel payment based on the number of attached patients and the complexity of those patients.

The new model is part of the refresh of the primary-care strategy to help increase and improve access to health-care services for patients. The model will provide:

  • full-service practice clinics (patient medical home) with funding for team-based care for family doctors working with nurse practitioners and supported by nurses and medical office assistants.
  • implementation of a provincial rostering system for patients – family practices will maintain and report on who they are caring for and will be part of a provincial attachment process to be introduced in 2023.

As well,  full-service family clinics will be linked at the local community level as part of a primary care network with:

  • additional access to allied health workers providing services, such as mental-health and/or substance-use therapy for mild to moderate health-care issues, maternity care and clinical social work.
  • funded and co-ordinated locum family physician and nurse practitioner programs to support family physician and nurse practitioner vacation, sick time, professional training and maternity/paternity leaves, and better ensures continuity of patient access.
  • increased role clarity, co-ordination and support of episodic care though urgent primary care centres, walk-in clinics and provincial virtual care services.
  • Support and collaboration on recruitment, professional development and quality improvement initiatives.
  • Full engagement in local planning and service co-ordination with other service partners including health authorities, First Nation and Metis communities, municipalities, community-based service providers, community groups.

Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)