Doctors' advice is a phone call away

The British Columbia government will soon be paying doctors to take telephone calls from their patients.

The province will allow doctors to bill $15 per call, to a maximum of 500 each year starting April 1, as part of its grander scheme to match all patients with a family doctor who want one by 2015.

B.C.'s health minister said Friday that compensating doctors for phone calls will dial down their workloads and help free them up to see more patients at the office, but it's just one piece of the plan to keep costs in check as the government strives to balance the budget.

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