New North Shore facility could make up for doctor shortage

By James Peters
June 16, 2016 - 11:47am Updated: June 16, 2016 - 12:17pm

KAMLOOPS — Health Minister Terry Lake says a solution is in the planning for thousands of Kamloops residents who don't have a general practitioner.

"What we are working on is a primary care home, likely established on the North Shore as we get into the fall that would be a resource for the unattached patients that we have here in Kamloops due to the shortage of physicians."

Lake says Interior Health, Divisions of Family Practice and his ministry are in preliminary talks aimed at creating a facility on the Kamloops North Shore that would use inter-disciplinary teams to take care of non-urgent health issues in the community.

"We're looking at trying to meet the needs of about 10,000 unattached patients in the City of Kamloops. Starting on the North Shore, [in the] future perhaps on the South Shore, but again this is still in development. We hope to have something concrete, on the ground starting this fall."

Lake adds recruiting physicians to Kamloops is an ongoing challenge, and that's why the ministry is getting creative with ideas like inter-disciplinary teams and nurse practitioners.

"It's an ongoing effort, and that's why we are looking at inter-disciplinary teams. Looking at nurse practitioner models, looking at different funding models to support nurse practitioners, working in a integrated team approach with physicians and nurses and other health care professionals. I think that's the way we are going to manage primary heath care." 

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