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Province providing funding boost for family doctors

The B.C. government is providing $118 million in stabilization funds to help with operation costs for family doctors.

Provincial officials said it’s a short-term solution for a long-term problem.

“There is still hard work ahead of us to achieve a new payment model that recognizes the pressures of rising business costs and that recognizes the value of family physicians and the time and complexity of providing longitudinal patient care,” said Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, president of Doctors of BC in a release.

“We want to ensure that everyone has a family doctor who can provide them with the quality care they need and deserve.”

According to the government, funding is available to family doctors who provide ongoing services to their patients and who pay overhead costs.

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Care clinics committed to remaining open and maintaining consistent clinic hours can also apply for funding on behalf of the clinic.

Provincial officials said approximately 3,480 family doctors who have their own practices and 1,100 family doctors working in walk-in clinics will be receiving funds.

This makes up more than 70 per cent of family doctors working in the province.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said this funding is part of an expansion of B.C.’s primary care strategy, which includes the development of a new compensation model.

That will be announced later this fall.

“Working with Doctors of BC, family doctors and other partners, we will build upon and strengthen primary care services for patients, taking the short- and long-term actions required to ensure certainty and confidence,” Dix said in a release.

The short-term funding will be available for four months from Oct 1, 2022. to Jan 31, 2023.

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