Friday, October 7, 2022

Tackling the health care worker shortage

People in Saanich and across BC care deeply about having access to quality healthcare when and where they need it, and I thank those of you that have reached out to my office to share your thoughts and experiences. As government, it's a top priority for us to make sure our healthcare system is supported and strengthened so everyone in BC can access the quality care they need. We're working to attract and retain doctors and using innovative strategies to improve access to healthcare, like expanding the abilities of our pharmacists to prescribe and administer routine medications to reduce strain on primary care providers.
Through our government's incentives for recent family medicine graduates to encourage them to practice primary care in our communities, including signing bonuses and student debt forgiveness, we've had over 50 doctors sign contacts to provide full-service family practice in communities across B.C., with many more expressing interest or in discussions about contract terms. Learn more about this work here.
We also recently launched our Health Human Resources Strategy, which will support our healthcare providers and make our healthcare system work better. The strategy includes steps to expand medical residency seats at UBC's faculty of medicine, and beginning Oct. 14, allowing pharmacists to adapt and renew an extended range of prescriptions and administer prescribed drugs, and in spring 2023, expanding this to allow pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor ailments and contraceptives. Read more about our strategy. 
This work will support access to healthcare for people across BC and allow our key professionals like pharmacists to use their expertise to better serve patients. This builds upon work we’ve been doing to attract and retain family doctors, train more medical professionals, and use innovative solutions to reduce strain across our healthcare system. Through these measures, people will better be able to access the urgent and primary care they need, throughout the province