Patients searching for family doctor at new Langford care centre leave disappointed

Confusion on day one of urgent primary care centre

CTV Vancouver Island 
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 1:51PM PST 
Last Updated Monday, November 5, 2018 6:30PM PST

There was confusion on opening day of a new urgent primary care facility on the West Shore Monday morning.
More than a dozen people waited in line before the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre opened its doors for the first time at 8 a.m.
But some of those people were frustrated to learn that they would not be able to find a new family doctor at the centre – at least for now.

“It’s just purely an urgent care walk-in clinic,” said Wendy Wilson. “I asked if there was a waiting list, no they don’t have a waiting list. I asked if they knew when the prospective pod is going to open for doctors, the answer was no, they don’t know that but it won’t be until the new year for sure.”

Wilson said she was hoping to find a family doctor for her three-year-old grandson as well as herself.”I had a brain tumour taken out a year ago June, and I’m getting older. I need care,” she said.
When it was announced early last week, the province said the new urgent primary care facility in Langford would better connect locals with health care providers.

Such facilities are meant to consolidate multiple health care providers, services and other programs to employ “team-based” care, meaning doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other professionals work in conjunction with one another.

A total of 10 urgent primary care centres are expected to be opened in B.C. in the next 10 years. Facilities have already been announced for Surrey, Quesnel and Kamloops.

Langford Mayor Stew Young welcomed the new care centre saying about one-third of West Shore’s population do not have a family doctor.

The province says the new West Shore facility will eventually be able to accommodate 128 patients per day and up to 40,000 visits a year.

But for now, it appears a few residents will have to wait until next year to find a general practitioner.

“I would say a third of the people that were in this line-up were not here for care for today, they were looking for a doctor,” said Wilson. “I was hopeful. Foolish of me, but I was hopeful.”


Universal Pharmacare and Federalism

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Policy Options for Canada

COLLEEN M. FLOOD, BRYAN THOMAS, ASAD ALI MOTEN AND PATRICK FAFARD | SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

Canada is the only OECD country with universal health insurance that does not include coverage of prescription pharmaceuticals. Some provinces have taken steps to provide drug insurance coverage for the poor, the elderly and people facing catastrophic costs (there are some 70 drug funding programs across the country). However, access to essential medicines depends on factors such as age, medical condition, income and province of residence. It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of Canadians have no drug insurance.

A number of reports have recommended that Canada’s public health services be expanded to cover pharmaceuticals. This possibility is now under serious consideration, with the establishment by the federal government of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, led by Eric Hoskins (a former Ontario cabinet minister). The council is mandated to report by spring 2019.

This study explores options for universal pharmacare in the context of Canadian federalism. The authors define universal pharmacare as a system of insurance for important medicines that is progressively financed (i.e., contributions reflect users’ income) and has no access barriers due to costly copayments. Such a system would ensure access to important medications for millions of Canadians and improve the return on investment for the money spent on pharmaceuticals. However, there is very strong opposition to universal pharmacare from private insurers and pharmaceutical companies, which often argue for “filling the gaps” rather than comprehensive reform.

The authors outline two policy options that, based on their analysis, are feasible given the constitutional division of powers. The first would be for the provinces to delegate the power to administer drug insurance plans to a new arm’s-length agency funded by the federal government. An example of such an organization is Canadian Blood Services, which on behalf of the federal, provincial and territorial governments is responsible for the provision and management of a $500-million drug portfolio.

The second option would be for the federal government to adopt legislation similar to the Canada Health Act and provide an annual pharmacare transfer to the provinces and territories. This would give them flexibility in the design of their respective insurance systems, with federal contributions contingent on compliance with two critical criteria: (1) universal coverage should be provided for a basket of essential drugs, without copayments or deductibles; and (2) decisions over what to include in the basket should be made by an arm’s-length body (or bodies) that would negotiate with drug companies for the best prices.

The authors point out that, under either option, private insurers would not be eliminated. However, their business model would need to change to focus on brands of drugs not included in the universal public plan.

Acknowledging the challenges of reaching the necessary intergovernmental agreement, the authors call on the federal government to make a firm commitment to leading Canada toward universal pharmacare and to begin negotiations with the provinces and territories.

The Case for Universal Pharmacare

A more competitive Canadian economy by lessening the growing costs of employers’ sponsored benefit plans

Reduced health care costs by decreasing rates of prescription nonadherence

Equitable financing rather than saddling patients with costly medical bills

More affordable medicines due to lower administrative costs than the current multipayer systems for Canada at IRPP.org

Equitable access regardless of one’s age, health condition, or economic status

http://irpp.org/research-studies/universal-pharmacare-and-federalism-policy-options-for-canada/

BC Rural Health Network- new member community

Welcome

A warm welcome to the newest member of the BC Rural Health Network: East Shore Kootenay Lake Community Health Society.
ESKLCHS represents the following communities: Riondel, Crawford Bay, Kootenay Bay, Gray Creek, Boswell, Sanca, and Twin Bays

ESKLCHS represents  the following communities:
Riondel, Crawford Bay, Kootenay Bay, Gray Creek, Boswell, Sanca, Twin Bays

Too many Canadians can’t afford their medication

Pharma

Letter to the Editor

Princeton Similkameen Spotlight

William L. Day

11 July 2018

The House Of Commons All-Party Standing Committee on Health has recently endorsed and recommended the implementation of a Canadian Pharmacare Program.

Many currently healthy people are not aware that prescription drugs are covered by our Canada health insurance only while the client is in hospital. Insurance outside the hospi- tal varies greatly among provinces and territories.

For example, the same out-of-hospital cancer treatment can cost you $0 in Nunavut; $3,000 in BC; $20,000 in PEI.

Currently, Canadians pay more for prescription medications than citizens in any other of the 29 wealthy OECD countries except Switzerland and the USA.

More than three million Canadians are under-insured or uninsured for prescription drugs outside approved hospitals.

Researchers have found that overall, 5.5 per cent of respondents across Canada reported they couldn’t take their medications as prescribed because of costs. In B.C., the propor- tion falling through such cracks in the health system was highest among all provinces and territories, at 8.11 per cent.

Unlike all other industrialized countries, neither the USA nor Canada have established a drug plan that would allow their national governments to negotiate drug prices on behalf of their entire population.

In summary, Canada remains the only industrialized country with universal health insur- ance but no national Pharmacare strategy for its citizens.

The Support Our Health Care Society (SOHC) of Princeton will be doing its best to ac- quaint Similkameen residents with our collective problem and opportunity. We will be providing information in Princeton at retail outlets and surveying our local public on the issue. We intend to inform our MPs and MLAs of our activities and findings. To date, they have been very receptive. Readers are encouraged to go to the government website to read the original complete document and join the discussion:
https://www.letstalkhealth.ca/pharmacare.

The power to engineer this change lies with us, with Ottawa and our collective Members of Parliament and MLAs. They are listening and waiting for us to signal our support for change.

The Time Has Come.

Yours respectfully,

Bill Day, Vice President, Support Our Health Care Society, Princeton BC

Too many Canadians can’t afford their medication