Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Primary care network coming to Central Okanagan

The networks will provide culturally safe services for Indigenous peoples

The province is launching 22 new primary care networks across 13 regions to provide health care for British Columbians who do not have family doctors — including one in the Central Okanagan.

The networks will cost $78.54 million, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Primary care networks are clinical networks of providers in a geographic area where patients receive expanded, comprehensive care and improved access to primary care.

“Primary care networks will become the backbone of team-based care in B.C.,” Dix said.

“The idea is that we’re not just adding health professionals… we need to work together to give patients the care they need.”

The Central Okanagan network is anticipated to consist of more than 70 local health professionals, connecting around 28,580 patients to a primary care provider over the next four years.

There are currently 17 existing primary care networks in B.C. The 22 new ones have so far hired 270 health-care workers including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals.

The networks will provide culturally safe services through Indigenous support coaches.

In addition to the Central Okanagan, the list of new primary care networks includes Comox, south Vancouver Island, White Rock/South Surrey, Kootenay Boundary and the East Kootenays. They will include urgent and primary care centres as well as community health centres, integrated with existing clinics.


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