Our study shows you get better care if you have a doctor who formally enrols patients, pools resources with colleagues to provide after hours care and takes responsibility for preventing and managing chronic disease.
Primary care is considered the front door to our health care system. Whether you’re going for a general check-up or have just been diagnosed with cancer, your family doctor makes sure you get the tests, treatment and care you need.
Even patients with a family doctor often resort to emergency departments and walk-in clinics because less than a third of BC doctors report having any other arrangements for after-hours care.
Before spending billions more, we need to agree on what success in health care looks like, and monitor progress from the start.
We need to measure health care performance in real-time against clear goals and accept ongoing change as a necessary part of doing better, rather than thinking a one-time course correction is enough.
We need to broaden the team that is involved in choosing health reforms to include health authorities, nurses and other service providers – and patients, of course.
Our first point of contact with the health system — often referred to as ‘primary care’ — should result in prompt and efficient care for our general health concerns, and coordinate our journey through the system when we need more specialized care.
As the federal election campaign wages, Canadians should be pressing federal political parties to take a leadership position on the healthcare file.
Since 2006, British Columbia has spent more than a billion dollars to improve primary health care. So have BC patients benefited from such a massive investment? Sadly, it appears not.