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Victoria pledges $90 million over three years for primary health-care teams

KAMLOOPS — Health Minister Terry Lake has committed another $90 million in the next three years to expand team-based primary health care throughout the province.

The financial announcement was made as Lake attended the opening of a new primary-care and seniors health centre at Northills Centre on Kamloops’s North Shore.

It’s the third team-based clinic to open in the city since February and will provide a range of supports for seniors, including a home health program that incorporates community nursing, community-allied health and a community bathing program, a lab collection centre and a primary-care clinic where nurse practitioners will care for patients ages 65 and older from the Kamloops primary-care wait list.

In addition, the Interior Health Authority partnered with the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice to open a seniors health and wellness centre, where patients can be referred by their family doctor, nurse practitioner or specialist.

The team is expected to include family physicians with a special interest in geriatrics, a geriatrician, mental-health clinician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, registered dietitian, rehabilitation assistant, speech and language pathologist, pharmacist, registered nurse, social worker, respiratory therapist and medical office assistant.

The new money being put into the health-care system will be targeted at redesigning how health care is provided to use more team-based, primary-care teams working with patients.

It could see more nurses and nurse practitioners in primary-care clinics who will work with existing doctors in communities to provide care and supports. Other health professionals like pharmacists, occupational therapists and social workers will also become involved in the team approach.

Article from Vancouver Sun, Published on: April 3, 2017 | Last Updated: April 3, 2017 4:27 PM PDT