In spring 2022, we relaunched our My Family Doctor Cares awareness and advocacy campaign to advocate on behalf of our profession, our patients and the almost-one-million British Columbians without a family doctor.
In developing the campaign, we undertook public polling research and member surveys to better understand public perceptions and members’ experience of practicing family medicine in British Columbia. This research (conducted in 2019 and again in 2022) was used to inform the My Family Doctor Cares campaign.
The research findings are available here.
Campaign Results to Date
Thanks to the campaign, the work of other organizations and public advocacy groups, and the incredible show of support from family doctors around the province, the family doctor crisis has garnered significant attention and has become a key issue among the public and our province’s politicians.
Click here to read more about the campaign and its efforts to raise awareness of the family medicine crisis in BC.
Media Coverage to Date
The Chilliwack Progress celebrates Dr. Paul Graham as recipient of the My Family Doctor Award in Fraser Health authority
Chilliwack doctor wins award from BC College of Family Physicians
BCCFP President Dr. Justine Spencer joined Sonia Sunger on Global News Morning BC and Simi Sara on CKNW 980 this morning (February 2) to discuss the launch of the new
Can’t find children’s Tylenol in Kamloops, Okanagan? Here are some options | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan’s News Source (infotel.ca)
Ongoing Advocacy Actions
For more information about how you can help to advocate for family medicine, please see below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Meet with your MLA
It’s important for BC legislators to understand the crisis facing family medicine. An effective way to achieve this is to share your experience with your local MLA.
- To get the name and contact info for your MLA, visit: www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members (Note: search by the postal code of your home or practice).
- On your own, or with a group of family doctors in your area, contact your MLA’s office and request a meeting to discuss access to primary care in your community.
- Meet with your MLA and share your experience. Talking points are available Advocacy Toolkit
2) Share social media posts with your followers
Follow BCCFP’s social media channels and like or share our posts.
When posting about family medicine, use the hashtags:
3) Become a media spokesperson in your community
We will be carrying out a hyper-local media campaign, sending media releases to local media celebrating family doctors as the foundation of the health care system.
Local media prefers to use local spokespeople. Let us know if you are willing to speak on behalf of family doctors in your community. Email email@example.com
4) Invite concerned patients, friends and family to send a letter to their MLA
We created a form letter that the public can send, simply by inputting their postal code on our website, selecting their MLA and hitting ‘send’. The public MLA letter can be found on the myfamilydoctorcares.ca website.
We have also created a poster for your office that invites patients to add their voice.
The poster can be downloaded and printed on 8.5×11 office paper. (We recommend printing in colour for maximum effect).
1) To download, click on the thumbnail to the right.
2) Once the PDF is open, left click and chose to save the PDF to your computer or print.
Share Your Story: Advocacy Talking Points
1. Family medicine is in a state of crisis
- Almost one million British Columbians don’t have, and can’t get, a family doctor.
- Fewer family doctors are choosing to work in comprehensive, longitudinal family practice and more family doctors than ever before are considering leaving the profession.
- In a survey conducted by BCCFP in 2022, 40% of those with a family doctor are concerned they will lose their doctor to retirement or practice closure.
- Of those without a family doctor, 19% cited that the reason was because their family doctor had closed their practice. This is twice the percentage from 2019 (9%).
2. Family doctors are the foundation of the health care system. Investing in family medicine means better health outcomes for British Columbians.
- As the main point of contact for access into the health care system, family doctors play a central role in the early identification of disease and improved management of chronic illness.
- Evidence shows that having a family doctor who knows you and cares for you over time results in better overall health outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
- 93% of British Columbians believe continuity of care improves their health and want an ongoing relationship with a family physician.
3. A family doctor’s work doesn’t end when the last patient leaves our office
- There has been a significant increase in the amount of non-clinical work required of family doctors – from completing forms and managing referrals to sifting through an ever-increasing input of patient data on challenging electronic medical record platforms.
- Up to 25% of a family doctor’s week is taken up with administrative work. This is time that could be spent providing direct patient care.
4. We are losing family physicians to other parts of health care
- BC is graduating more family medicine physicians than ever before, but because of the current conditions of work, many are steering away from comprehensive family practice.
- This is also true of later-stage physicians, as we see a growing trend of family doctors moving from primary care to other areas within health care. While these doctors are providing other important services – such as urgent care, working in hospitals and other settings – their absence from working in community-based practices make it harder than ever for the public to find a family doctor.
5. It’s not an easy problem to resolve, but the longer we wait, the worse it gets
- Health care is complex, and the issues are not going to be solved overnight. To create a sustainable health care system, family doctors are asking the Province to invest in the foundation on which the health care system rests – primary care provided by family physicians.
6. Investment in primary care needs to include investments in family doctors
- Research shows that the best outcomes are achieved when patients receive ongoing, collaborative, team-based care led by a family doctor.
- UPCCs and NPs have a role to play in improving health care capacity, but they should not be used in place of an ongoing relationship with a doctor.
The above information is also available in a print-friendly PDF. To print – click on the image below. Once the PDF is open, left click and print.