Media Contacts

Bhinder Sajan

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887

Interior Health

1 844 469-7077


What to know about North Okanagan-Shuswap PCN

Through the introduction of new resources in collaboration with existing services, North Okanagan services will increase access for vulnerable populations, allowing access to culturally safe primary health-care services.

In addition, extended hours and increased access will support service integration for those with mental-health and substance-abuse needs, as well as frail and elderly patients. Team-based care will integrate a referral triage service, allied health access and networked call groups.

The PCN is in its first year of implementation. Recruitment of up to 75 full-time equivalent (FTEs) new health-care providers will be dedicated to the PCN over four years as follows:

  • Family doctors: 4.8 FTE
  • Nurse practitioners: 20 FTE
  • Registered nurses: 10.9 FTE (including relief)
  • Mental-health registered practised nurses: 9.2 FTE
  • Allied health providers: 22 FTE
    • Care co-ordinators: 5 FTE
    • Dietitians: 2.8 FTE
    • Occupational therapists: 0.8 FTE
    • Physiotherapists: 5.6 FTE
    • Respiratory therapists: 2 FTE
    • Clinical social workers: 4 FTE
    • Clinical pharmacists: 2 FTE
  • Indigenous resources: 4 FTE
  • Administrative and management resources: 4 FTE

The PCN is an integrated system of care that will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers. Services will eventually have a single patient-record system across the PCN.

The PCN will also focus on improving access and strengthening services to the following populations:

  • people with mental-health and substance-use care needs;
  • frail seniors and people with chronic health conditions;
  • youth with complex care needs;
  • Indigenous people; and
  • new mothers.
What people are saying about primary-care networks

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health –

“Our government is continuing to take action to make positive changes around primary care for people in rural and remote communities. With enhanced access to a wide spectrum of health-care professionals in Vernon and the surrounding area, we are ensuring people can get access to the comprehensive care services they need.”

Diane Shendruk, vice president, clinical operations, Interior Health North –

“The PCN will support meeting the health-care needs of Vernon and surrounding areas by adding much-needed resources to Vernon. In this model, we can bring together health-care providers to make sure patients’ primary-care needs are being met and continue to be the backbone of team-based care in B.C. We’re grateful for all the work from all involved partners to address the health-care needs of Vernon and area residents.”

Tracey Kirkman, executive director, Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice

“We look forward to the implementation of the Shuswap North Okanagan primary-care network, which will improve primary-care support and access to care for our residents. Through our partnership with the Okanagan Indian Band, the Splatsin First Nation and Interior Health, we are working to build a solid foundation of team-based care throughout the area.”