Earlier today, the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC announced $118 million in stabilization funding to help family doctors in BC address the rising costs of doing business. An update was also provided on development of a new payment model that would factor in time spent, patient encounters and attachment/complexity in its calculation of compensation.
While there is still much for us to learn about the funding and proposed payment model, the BCCFP is encouraged to see the Province actively addressing the family doctor crisis.
For many months, we have been raising awareness of the inequities faced by the physicians in BC that practice longitudinal, community-based family medicine. In both our public communications and our meetings with government, we have made clear that immediate changes are required to help retain and recruit family physicians. Specifically:
- Equitable compensation – Family physicians practicing longitudinal medicine should be valued and remunerated for this work at a rate that is at least equitable with hospitalists and family physicians providing services in UPCCs.
- Cost of doing business – Physicians in family practice need immediate support to address the rising cost of doing business.
- Reduce administrative burden – Family physicians need to have the hours they spend doing administrative work reduced so that they can spend more time with patients.
- A seat at the table – The experience and expertise of family physicians who are working on the front lines of longitudinal family medicine must be a central part of any discussion on primary care transformation.
We are hopeful that today’s announcement will help to address these issues in the short term, and provide a platform for the kind of long-term transformation that is needed to ensure more British Columbians have access to an ongoing relationship with a family doctor.
More information about the announcement is available in today’s Doctors of BC President’s letter
We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.