'Big' health-care changes

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix has signalled big changes may be ahead for the province's health-care system.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information found emergency department wait times in B.C. are up to 10 hours, two hours longer than the national average. B.C. patients are also hospitalized longer, on average.

Dix says patients often have no choice but to go to the ER because walk-in clinics and doctors’ offices don’t have the capacity. 

The long waits are a significant problem, he said.

“We have to address it in emergency rooms, in primary care and in the community in order to ensure the appropriate patient flow, and it's obviously a priority for the government," Dix told CTV.

Residents are “going to see a difference soon," he added.

Dix said he'd like to see “team-based care” in which doctors would work with nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacists so that patients can see whoever is best suited to their needs.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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