Collaborating with Primary Care Networks best way to implement NDP plan, says Red Deer doctor

A Red Deer doctor sees potential in the NDP’s idea of ​​establishing 10 family health clinics across the province to increase access to primary care, but finding the staff and setting up the clinics would be difficult.

“I think it’s pretty raw. It’s a good idea on paper, but when it comes to logistics it could be quite difficult,” said GP Peter Bouch of the Red Deer Primary Care Network (PCN).

On Wednesday, the NDP released its primary health care plan, which includes establishing family health clinics with doctors and a team of health professionals to provide better support for early treatment and preventative care.

The plan calls for a transition fund to immediately begin hiring 1,500 non-physician team members to bolster existing clinics. The goal is to hire these employees by the end of 2024, while also working to open Family Health Clinics across the province.

Family health teams could include multiple primary care physicians, as well as registered nurses, registered and licensed general practitioners, psychotherapists, pharmacists, social workers, dietitians, community paramedics, community health navigators, physical therapists, midwives, speech therapists, and others.

According to the NDP, Red Deer, where none of the PCN’s GPs are accepting new patients and some of the doctors are nearing retirement, would be one of the first communities to receive a family health clinic.

Bouch said the Red Deer PCN has been connecting allied health workers with patients in confined spaces in doctors’ offices for years, and the city has no additional doctors or health workers to staff a family health team at a new clinic.

Read  35 Best New Movies on Netflix

According to the NDP, Calgary’s Crowfoot Village Family Practice is a model for a successful family health clinic, where physicians, with the help of health workers, can treat more patients and save the health care system money.

“It’s a great idea. It keeps people away from emergency rooms and hospital stays,” the Red Deer doctor said of the Calgary clinic, adding that the model is expensive and cannot be set up overnight.

His advice would be for the government to work with PCNs who haven’t had a raise in about 15 years and conditionally fund them to achieve specific outcomes.

“(The government) needs to work with the primary networks to find a solution. You’ve been at this for a while. The doctors know the community they work in so this would be the ideal group of people to connect with,” Bouch said.

PCNs were first introduced in Alberta in 2003.

Last September, the UCP government set up three panels to explore how the healthcare system can be improved both in the short term and over the next five to 10 years.

A final report with a recommended strategy for modernizing Alberta’s primary health care system will be completed in spring 2023.

[email protected]
Like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter

health dp

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button