More details have been released on nearly $12M in healthcare funding for the Central Okanagan announced by the provincial government on Tuesday.
The B.C. government says over the next four years, three “primary care networks” will be launched in the region, in Central Kelowna, Rutland/Lake Country and West Kelowna/Peachland.
The networks will bring 79 new full-time health care providers to the region, such as family physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and allied health professionals such as social workers, mental health counsellors, a dietitian and Indigenous health co-ordinators.
The networks will aim to reach 28,580 people in the region who currently don’t have access to a primary care provider. The team-based care teams will allow healthcare workers to collaborate and focus on their respective areas of expertise.
"Our community will benefit from the team-based, longitudinal care that underpins the primary care network. Our family physicians working closely in teams with nurses and allied health professionals to provide care, will enable us to see more patients and to enhance our services based on the needs of our patients, both in person and virtually,” said Dr. Michael Koss, physician lead, Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice.
Over the next four years, in Central Kelowna, the provincial government will hire the full-time equivalent of one family physician, half a nurse practitioner, 32.2 registered nurses, eight allied health professionals, one pharmacist, half a Indigenous health nurse practitioner and one Indigenous health co-ordinator.
For the launch of the Rutland/Lake Country primary care network, BC will hire one family physician, 1.5 nurse practitioners, 4.6 registered nurses, six allied health professionals, one pharmacist, half a Indigenous health nurse practitioner and one Indigenous health co-ordinator
The West Kelowna/Peachland network will see the hiring of two family physicians, two nurse practitioners, 5.75 registered nurses, five allied health professionals, 0.8 Indigenous health nurse practitioners, one Indigenous health co-ordinator and one pharmacist.