Primary Care Centres in Okanagan, Interior low on doctors and nurse practitioners

Care centres' bleak situation

Urgent and Primary Care Centres in the Okanagan and Kamloops are lagging way behind on staffing goals, according to data released by the B.C. Liberal caucus.

A province-wide transition towards the UPCC model began in 2018 with the first of its kind opening in Kamloops. Roughly 1 million B.C. residents do not have a family doctor.

The new data shows that the Kamloops UPCC is at just 66 per cent of approved employees.

Doctors account for 99 per cent of the location's overall budget, at 3.26 physicians, but they have zero nurse practitioners, although 2.04 are budgeted for.

West Kelowna's location is at 61 per cent capacity, with 100 per cent of nurse practitioner and physician positions filled, but a dearth of nurses, allied health workers and pharmacists.

Vernon has filled 79 per cent of positions overall, but 8.1 nursing positions are only 58 per cent filled.

Penticton is in a difficult situation with zero physicians out of the 1.05 allocated. However, the city has more than their allocated nurse practitioners, at 1.82 versus the 1.05 in the budget.

The South Okanagan Similkameen Primary Care Network also has a decent number of nurse practitioners, 7.3 or 91 per cent of those allocated, but again has zero doctors out of an allocated 6.4.

Two Indigenous health positions also remain unfilled in that network.

Kelowna is in the best shape in the Okanagan Valley, with 100 per cent staffing overall.

In total province-wide, just 53 per cent of healthcare positions in the UPCCs have been filled, leaving 961.39 full-time jobs in the industry vacant.

See the full published data here.

More Penticton News