Paramedics to provide basic health services in small B.C. communities

By The Canadian Press
April 27, 2016 - 2:03pm Updated: April 27, 2016 - 6:06pm

VICTORIA — Paramedics will provide expanded health-care services in 73 rural and remote British Columbia communities, giving patients more access to primary care.

Health Minister Terry Lake says paramedics will deliver basic services such as checking blood pressure, helping with diabetes care and assessing medication.

The Health Ministry says more paramedics are being hired and will visit patients in their home or community to perform assessments requested by a referring health-care professional.

Ambulance paramedics of BC president Bronwyn Barter says paramedics are well suited to take on an expanded role.

Community paramedicine was introduced in nine B.C. communities last year and has now been expanded to the Interior, northern B.C., Vancouver Island and the Vancouver coastal area before it begins in Prince George next year.

The government failed to meet its promise of recruiting and retaining enough doctors by 2015 so every B.C. resident who needed a general practitioner would have one.

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