If you don’t have a family doctor right now you’ll likely know how hard it is to find one taking new patients. Same with a nurse practitioners.
The B.C. government is trying to fix that for New Westminster residents by setting up a “primary care network” that will connect patients with integrated team-based primary care providers instead of people having to go to a clinic.
The New West PCN will provide access to a full range of health services, from maternity to end-of-life care, according to a news release from the government.
“The network will actively communicate with its community as it grows its services so that people living in the community know how and where to access the health services they need,” said the release. “A website will also be established to provide information to patients.”
The New West PCN will consist of three new general practitioners, four new nurse practitioners, five-and-a-half new registered nurses and one clinical pharmacist.
“This is great news for New Westminster,” said Judy Darcy, MLA for New Westminster and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I hear constantly from people who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner and now the New Westminster PCN will make it easier for them to get the help they need, when they need it. Through the New Westminster Primary Care Network people will also have Rapid Access to mental health and addictions professionals. By including these services in everyday health care, we are saying “mental health and addictions are health issues, period.”
Darcy said this will mean mothers and babies born in the community and seniors with complex care needs will be attached to a primary care provider, without having to use a walk-in clinic or emergency department for care. People in need of mental health supports will also have better access to the right care from the right provider with improved connectionto specialized services provided by health authorities.
Additional communities in the Fraser Northwest region that will receive regular primary care over the next three years including Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, Kwikwetlem First Nation, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Qayqayt First Nation. The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $12 million in annual funding to the Fraser Northwest region by the third year, as these net new positions are added and patients are attached.
These PCNs are the first to be rolled out in B.C.