MAPLE RIDGE – People in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will have increased access to team-based health care with the launch of two primary care networks (PCNs), and an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC).
“Finding a family doctor and nurse practitioner can be challenging, and in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area, more than 18,000 people didn’t have a consistent primary care provider when I became minister of health,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “To help break down this barrier, we are working with community partners to create a solution where these new primary care networks will connect thousands of people to a regular health-care provider, and the urgent and primary care centre will deliver better, faster health care for people who need it most.”
The two primary care networks will be the Maple Ridge PCN and the Pitt Meadows PCN. They will improve access to care, strengthen support for patients and providers, and see community partners work to attach residents in these areas to team-based primary care providers.
Once fully operational, the annual operating cost of the two primary care networks will be approximately $6.5 million and the annual operating cost of the urgent and primary care centre will be approximately $1.7 million.
The full-time equivalent of approximately 41 new health-care employees will be recruited over the next three years to support the PCNs and the new UPCC. This includes the equivalent of 11 full-time general practitioners, six nurse practitioners, in addition to adding registered nurses, clinical pharmacists, social workers, clinical counsellors and other allied health-care professionals. The primary care networks will include a part-time nurse practitioner to support the Katzie First Nations population and a part-time Elder in care to support culturally safe and traditional care.
“The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows primary care networks and urgent and primary care centre will help address gaps in everyday health care and support a long-term relationship between patients and their health-care provider,” added Dix.
The PCNs will focus on the specific needs of the community and improve health services identified as high priority for the community, including:
- patient attachment and access;
- maternity care;
- Indigenous health;
- an integrated chronic-care program;
- adult, child and youth mental health;
- chronic pain;
- substance use; and
- seniors care and prevention.
The Ridge Meadows Urgent and Primary Care Centre is the 12th centre to be announced throughout British Columbia.
The centre will open in two phases. The first phase opened Oct. 1, offering same-day access to a range of primary care services during evenings and weekends by an interdisciplinary team. By December, the centre will gradually expand its hours to seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. By July 2020 during the second phase, the UPCC will be permanently co-located within a future site and will offer a full scope of comprehensive care to people in the region. In both phases, the UPCC will work to attach patients to a primary care practitioner in either the centre or in the community.
The PCNs will operate in close partnership and collaboration with the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, Fraser Health and the PCN steering committee.
To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010