NDP says re-org of care will cost patients their doctors
Primary care move meant to better serve seniors and others with complex needs
A plan to change the services offered at five community health care clinics in Vancouver will undermine health care across the city, and force all but the most vulnerable patients to find a new family doctor, according to the NDP.
The 5 clinics — Pine, Mid Main, Evergreen, Pacific Spirit and South Community — all provide a wide range of health services.
Vancouver Coastal Health says many of those services will remain, but the primary care delivered by up to nine physicians who work in those clinics is going to move to the Raven Song Community Health Centre.
Raven Song will extend its hours to remain open 12 hours a day, seven days a week to create more availability for drop-in patients.
Dr. David Hall, the medical director for the program, say those with mental illness, serious addictions and complex medical needs as well as vulnerable youth and frail elderly will be better served under this new model.
Hall says the changes will not save any money, adding physicians who'd like to keep providing primary care will move to the fee for service model that most family doctors operate under.
NDP health critic Judy Darcy says the changes conflict with the Liberals' goal to ensure that those British Columbians who want a family doctor will have one by 2015.
"Thousands of patients are now losing their family doctor, adding to the 100,000 Vancouver residents already searching for one," said Darcy.
Patients have been told the changes will take effect in October.
With files from the CBC's Terry Donnelly