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B.C. moves to accelerate process for thousands needing a family doctor

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is bringing in new digital tools to help hundreds of thousands of residents who need a family doctor find one faster and easier. 

While nearly 410,000 people have been connected to a physician since 2018, there are another 310,000 who remain on the Health Connect Registry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix says they now have a plan to accelerate the patient-doctor matching process. 

Starting April 17, the province will introduce digital tools within the attachment system and add 70 so-called attachment co-ordinators to use those tools to make it faster and easier for those in need to find a doctor or nurse practitioner. 

The government says in the past the process was done manually. 

Dix says they have a better understanding now of capacity in the system and “for the first time ever,” they know how many health providers can take on patients. 

The government says they know through the Health Connect Registry that more than 800 primary care providers have said they can take on around 170,000 new patients. 

“Last year, we made a commitment to better connect people with primary care providers, and we’re doing just that,” Dix says in a news release. “We said we would get a better understanding of current primary care needs and capacity, and we have.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2024. 

The Canadian Press

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