31 British Columbians give recommendations for primary health care changes

It’s a chance for everyday Canadians to have their say on the future of primary care, as more people find it difficult to get a family doctor.

A panel of randomly chosen British Columbians held a discussion at SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus on Sunday.

They gave recommendations on what primary care should look like in the province after taking three months to learn about health services in B.C.

Recommendations they gave include expanding community health centres, having primary care service teams in catchments, making sure medical data is shared between all health care providers, investing in things like team-based primary care, public education around primary care systems and preventative care, more virtual care,  and a primary care charter and bill of rights for patients.

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The initiative is put on by OurCare, a Canadian project that is working to gather input from the public in regard to public primary health care services.

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“People are really concerned,” Dr. Tara Kiran told Global News, with OurCare.

“There are very supportive of team-based care. They all want access to their health records and they want different health records, that may be in the hospital or different family doctor’s offices, to all be able to connect with one another.”

OurCare is working with Canadians across the country, not just in B.C., to “share perspective and consider new possibilities for primary care.”

“Our panelists have been meeting virtually since April, learning from a range of experts in primary care,” Goldis Mitra said, an OurCare regional lead.

Global News talked to a couple of the panelists on Sunday regarding the recommendations.

“I found that the referral process is quite long and has little to no continuous care. You quite often don’t have very much continuity and follow-up from different care providers,” said Hannah Wilson, a panelist.

A final report will be coming out in the fall and will be presented to those in the primary care field and policymakers.

Global News has reached out to the B.C. Ministry of Health for comment.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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