Thursday, November 10, 2022

A New Deal for Doctors

Every day I hear from people in our community that access to quality health care is their number one priority.  Not having access to a family doctor or other primary care provider can have long-term health implications, and long wait times to see a doctor at a clinic are deeply frustrating.

We are listing to these concerns, and we are taking action.

One thing has been clear:  the current fee-for service payment model hasn’t been working for everyone.

That is why I am proud to share with you that, in February, a new opt-in model for family doctors will take effect.  Our government and the Doctors of BC have developed a new payment model that provides doctors with the support they need to care for patients.

This new model will raise the average wage for a family doctor in BC and ensure doctors can give patients the care and time they deserve.  Rather than paying doctors based only on the number of patients seen each day, the new model will also account for the time spent with each patient, the complexity of patients’ concerns, and the administrative costs of running a family practice.

The new payment model marks the start of a new approach to supporting doctors – we’re doing things differently so that doctors can deliver more and better care to people who need it. 
Under the new payment model, the Province will be better able to attract new family doctors to family practice, and retain existing doctors.

We’ve also reached a tentative Physician Master Agreement, which includes several more actions that will better support doctors as they care for their patients. 
We are working to train and license more doctors to work in BC by:
  • Expanding medical training for doctors
  • Adding new residency seats, including dedicated seats for international medical graduates
  • Working to make it easier for foreign trained doctors to work in BC
  • Supporting safer workplaces for health care workers with 320 new protection service officers
  • Doubling the number of nurse practitioners to free up doctors to see more patients
  • Opening new urgent and primary care centres – 29 with more to come
You can read the full news release here, and you can see what doctors are saying about the new plan here.

We know there is more to be done, but our new deal for doctors is an important step forward in building a better health care system here in BC.