Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen

An estimated 15,000 people in region do not have a family doctor

Representatives with the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice are seeking help with developing family practices in the region.

At the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District meeting on Thursday, Dr. Tim Phillips, co-chair of the Division of Family Practice, and chief executive officer Tracy St. Claire asked the hospital district for assistance in building family practices in the area.

Phillips said the traditional model of groups of doctors buying and operating their own spaces is no longer a feasible model.

“Family practice as we knew it 20 years ago is dying,” he said.

Instead, Phillips and St. Claire suggest providing space for doctors to practice medicine.

READ ALSO: Ponderosa Primary Care Centre celebrates the next step in patient care in the Okanagan

READ ALSO: Health care access, cost of travel top concerns for B.C. rural residents

The model they recommend is already in use at the Ponderosa Primary Care Centre.

That facility, which opened in early November, has six general practitioners and two nurse practitioners on staff and is open 12 hours a day Monday to Friday and shorter hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Phillips said similar care centres are needed throughout the region.

St. Claire added that around 15,000 people in the region are still in need of a family doctor.

Costs of these facilities vary by community.

St. Claire said estimated costs in Princeton would be $2 million to construct the facility and $500,000 for equipment.

In Penticton, $1 million for the building and $500,000 for the equipment would be needed.

The estimated cost for a Summerland facility would be $3 million for a building, with $750,000 for the necessary equipment.

In Keremeos, the cost of a facility is estimated at $1 million.

No locations have been identified for Oliver or Osoyoos.

Princeton mayor Spencer Coyne said family practice centres will not be the same in all communities in the region.

“Summerland and Princeton will be completely different at the end of the day,” he said.

Riley Gettens, director for Electoral Area F, said further discussion is needed.

“I think it’s important that the conversation keeps going,” she said.

Petra Veintimilla, chair of the regional hospital district, also believes the hospital board should discuss the issue further.

“It’s all of us, not just one community,” she said. “As a larger group, we can make a bigger dent.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland residents march for better forest management

The Peachland march was one of many like it across B.C.

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Okanagan Rail Trail northern section closure begins next week

This work is a part of the RDNO’s long-term planning and maintenance to ensure the trail remains safe

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read