GPSC seeks rural family physicians feedback for Visioning process

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Do you have ideas or suggestions for how primary care should change to benefit patients and improve the way you want to practice in the future? The General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) wants to hear directly from rural family physicians throughout September.  What the GPSC hears will help it to create a GP-led vision for the future of primary care that will enable it “to influence policy, set priorities, and allocate its budget for the next three to five years.” (Watch their video now)

There are four thematic areas guiding this province-wide consultation process:

  • The value of primary care
  • How do you want to practice in the future?
  • What is the future scope of practice and potential delivery model, and where do physicians fit?
  • What needs to change to make this happen?

In addition to these four topics, the GPSC is offering physicians the opportunity to comment online (both privately and publicly) about different topics and concerns that matter to them.

RCCbc and the Rural and Remote Divisions of Family Practice strongly encourage rural practitioners to bring their perspectives and ideas to this table. Only 15 per cent of BC’s physicians serve the 25 per cent of BC’s population that live rurally – thus, rural representation is especially valuable in discussions involving provincial healthcare planning and policy. “Rural practitioners usually have a broader cope or practice because they are obliged to deal with the full spectrum of medical issues in a community, such as family practice, emergency medicine, obstetrics, anesthesia, surgery,” observes Dr. Stuart Johnston, Associate Director, RCCbc. “Rural practitioners have much to offer to their urban colleagues and to the profession as a whole in terms of supporting generalism in medicine.”

How can you provide feedback?

There are four ways for rural GPs to participate in the GPSC Visioning process:

In-person meetings: Local divisions of family practice and the Visioning Steering Committee are co-hosting in-person visioning meetings across the province. There are meetings scheduled for:

  • September 16: Comox/Oceanside/Campbell River
  • September 17: Central Interior Rural Division
  • September 18: Rural and Remote Division – Open Chapter
  • September 22: Rural and Remote Division – Multiple Chapters (Saltspring Island, Pemberton, North Vancouver Island, Gabriola, Long Beach, Hazelton, Clearwater, Lillooet, Logan Lake, Bella Coola, Bella Bella).

More in-person meetings are being scheduled – check the web site for updates.

Virtual in-person meeting:  If you are unable to attend an in-person meeting but want to participate in an interactive process, participate in a virtual meeting where you can discuss the same topics covered in live meetings.

Online discussion: GPs are discussing multiple topics about primary care and practice on the visioning web site including:

  • why BC is struggling to adopt team-based care?
  • what is the role of the family physician in the hospital?
  • what elements of primary care work in both urban and rural settings?; and,
  • what’s the right funding model for practitioners?

By participating in these online conversations, you will be able to see what others are saying, add your thoughts, and discuss the different comments until the end of September.

Private feedback: Contact the GPSC’s Visioning Steering Committee directly to contribute your comments and ideas. The information you provide about the topics important to you will be used to guide future discussion topics.

The GPSC’s Visioning process consultation will continue until the end of September. For more information, visit gpscvisioning.ca.

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