Almost 1 million British Columbians don't have a family doctor
Family doctors care.
About the patients we see regularly in our practice, and the almost-one-million British Columbians who don’t have, and can’t get, a family doctor.
As family doctors practicing comprehensive family medicine, we believe all British Columbians deserve an ongoing relationship with a family doctor. And, we believe that family doctors need working conditions that attract more doctors and retain the family doctors already in practice.
In 2019 and 2022 we undertook public polling research and member surveys to better understand public perceptions and members’ experience of practicing family medicine in British Columbia. Here’s what we found:
Almost 1 million
British Columbians don’t have a family doctor
of British Columbians who have a family doctor are worried they will lose them to practice closure or retirement
of British Columbians say it is important to have a family doctor who is primarily responsible for their care
Family doctors are your partner in health
Evidence shows that having a family doctor who knows you and cares for you over time leads to better health outcomes.
As the foundation of BC’s health care system, family doctors handle the majority of heath care concerns a patient may have over their lifetime. Family doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating the whole person, and play an important role in the early identification and prevention of disease.
Family doctors use the best available evidence and our clinical expertise to create care plans that fit our patients’ needs. We also recognize how social factors like family history, financial status, cultural background and past traumas impact health.
British Columbians want and deserve a family doctor
As family doctors, we are concerned about the future of family medicine.
More than 90% of British Columbians say it is important to them to have a family doctor who is primarily responsible for their care. Yet, almost one million people in our province are without a family doctor.
The experience of being a family doctor in British Columbia is challenging. Family doctors are frustrated by the mounting non-clinical demands that take us away from spending time with patients and the chronic under-funding of proper, comprehensive care. As a result, fewer family doctors are choosing to work in family practice and more family doctors than ever before are considering leaving, or moving to other parts of health care.
While we need doctors in hospitals, walk-in clinics and urgent care centres, this should be in addition to, not instead of, having family doctors available that see patients in the community on an ongoing basis.
We are advocating for more British Columbians to have access to a family doctor and for family doctors to have more support so we can continue to practice comprehensive family medicine.
Write to your MLA
Help us advocate for the almost-one-million British Columbians who don’t have, and can’t get, a family doctor and the 40% who are afraid of losing the one they have.