(UPDATE) Doctors of BC say attracting physicians means changing the way health care is delivered
Doctors of BC say if we want to address the doctor shortage, we need to change the way health care is delivered and funded in this province.
The organization's President, Dr. Eric Cadesky, says Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is on the right track when she talks about team-based care in her community -- because that's what appeals to family physicians:
So we're going to need funding for this new model of care, where if you need to see a social worker or a nurse, or have dietary counselling, or see a doctor or nurse, that you'll have access to that. So we'll need the spaces for that. We'll need to change the health care system in terms of the way that we fund it. We've got big goals and dreams, and we're looking to continue working with our partners on that."
Esquimalt is trying to address it's doctor crisis by looking at what primary care physicians need, and what they want, in order to set up practise. One of the needs identified includes creating space for team-based care facilities.
Cadesky says team-based medical care takes the pressure off doctors as they can concentrate on treating patients instead of trying to run a business. Someone else does that.
" I think that there are efforts that are underway, and I'm certainly happy that the government is open to working with us as doctors, as well as some of the other health care professional groups. Because we know that, as you alluded to, that when you have a primary care professional, or a team that looks after you, your care is better, and it's also more efficient for the system."
Cadesky says the crisis we are in today goes back decades, starting with incorrect reports saying there were too many doctors, leading to enrollment cuts at medical schools, and fewer doctors to take the places of retiring physicians -- all at a time we have an aging population.
Caedsky says the pressures on primary care givers can be alleviated through team-based care, but the medical system needs to be revamped.