A solution to the BC health care crisis
Looking for a family physician in BC? You’re not alone. Much has been written about the health care crisis in BC and the lack of access to primary care providers - such as doctors and nurse practitioners. Government has been working hard to develop strategies to increase access to care and has recently announced a new compensation model for doctors and is working to expand the number of practitioners by offering accelerated credentialing for internationally educated clinicians to certify to work in BC. These initiatives and many others will help to increase access to care but in our view the solution offered by the community health centre model (CHC) is being disregarded.
“In our view the solution offered by the community health centre model (CHC) is being disregarded.”
CHCs offer a community governed, community needs based solution. This team-based care model provides what we call ‘wrap around’ patient care. This is care that puts the patient in the centre of a team of practitioners to provide multi-faceted solutions to health issues. An assessment of patient needs based on the social determinants of health is also done to ensure the patient’s life situation (housing, food security, mental health, cultural aspects) and the impacts on patient health are considered and become part of the care plan. In addition, this care model focuses on providing care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
CHCs are solutions that need separate funding
At present, only 7 of the 30 operational CHCs in B.C. are funded by the BC government. They are not, however, funded for 100% of their operations. The current mechanism to receive funding is through a collaboration process with a regional Primary Care Network created to develop regional health service plans and allocate funding to agencies to support the delivery of primary care services. At best, a CHC could receive funding for a few health care practitioners through this process. Not nearly enough for the robust services CHCs provide.
“At present, only 7 of the 30 operational CHCs in B.C. are funded by the BC government. They are not, however, funded for 100% of their operations.”
Our position is that:
(1) CHCs should be looked at as a solution to health care access for communities and
(2) A separate funding model should be created to assist with the development and the operation of these health centres.
Communities decide what their needs are, communities govern the centres that provide the care and government funds an integrated model working with the CHCs to measure outcomes and ensure accountability, and most importantly, patients benefit from improved access and better overall health and social outcomes.
Would you like to learn more about the CHC model as a solution to our current crisis? Please let us know and we will be happy to work with you.
Are you convinced that CHCs are a solution to meet BC’s health care needs? Please write to your MLA and ask them to work with BCACHC to develop a funding model for CHCs in communities of need around our province.