British Columbia·Audio Series

A crisis in care: CBC series examines Victoria's family doctor shortage

CBC Victoria dives into the reasons behind the family doctor crisis, its impacts and some possible solutions in this special radio series.

Southern Vancouver Island has some of longest walk-in clinic waits in the province and country

Multiple family doctors and clinics have left Vancouver Island over the past year, leaving hundreds of people without primary care. (Shutterstock)

Patients in the greater Victoria area are increasingly frustrated by a lack of family doctors.

Over the past year, at least three doctors have left urgent and primary care centres and three clinics have closed, leaving hundreds of people without primary care.

According to the B.C. College of Family Physicians, only 80 per cent of residents in the Capital Regional District have one, compared to 84 per cent of people provincewide, while a report from the Canadian tech company Medimap found Victoria walk-in clinics have the longest wait time in the country, at more than 2½ hours.

CBC Victoria dove into the reasons behind this crisis, its impacts and some possible solutions in a special weeklong series, A Crisis in Care: The Family Doctor Shortage in Greater Victoria, which you can find in the segments below.

Why fee-for-service makes it hard to be a family doctor

CBC On the Island host Gregor Craigie speaks to story producer Jean Paetkau about the challenges of being a family doctor under the fee-for-service system.

Gregor Craigie spoke with by CBC story producer Jean Paetkau about the challenges of being a family doctor under the fee-for-service system.

What happens when you lose your family doctor?

Camille Currie is one of thousands of people who lost their family doctor when two physicians left the Eagle Creek Clinic in View Royal. The experience prompted her to become an advocate and create the B.C. Health Care Matters Facebook page and website. She speaks to All Points West host Robyn Burns.

Camille Currie is one of thousands of people who lost their family doctor when two physicians left the Eagle Creek Clinic in View Royal. The experience prompted her to become and advocate and create the BC Health Care Matters Facebook page and website. She spoke with Robyn Burns.

The origins of the family doctor crisis

CBC Victoria's Deborah Wilson looks into the factors that have led to the current doctor shortage on Vancouver Island, and B.C. as a whole.

Gregor Craigie spoke with CBC Victoria's Deborah Wilson about the origins of the doctor shortage.

Navigating cancer treatment without a family doctor

Joy Williamson has been searching for a family doctor for eight years. In December of 2020, she found a lump in her breast. She believes not having a family doctor delayed her cancer diagnosis. Hear Williamson's story, and that of listeners who have shared about not having access to a family doctor.

Joy Williamson has been searching for a family doctor for eight years and in December of 2020 she found a lump in her breast. She believes not having a family doctor delayed her cancer diagnosis. Hear Joy's story and other stories listeners have shared about not having access to a family doctor.

A nurse who can't get a doctor

Brenda Erven is a nurse and single mother who lives in Victoria. Shortly after losing her family doctor two years ago she developed a serious health condition. She now has to manage her condition and prescriptions through walk-in clinics and the ER.

Brenda Erven is a nurse and single mother who lives in Victoria. Shortly after losing her family doctor two years ago she developed a serious health condition. She now has to manage her condition and prescriptions through walk-in clinics and the ER. Hear her story, and other stories listeners have submitted about their experience with the family doctor shortage.

Do medical students want to be family doctors?

Sofia Kennedy is a first-year medical student who lives in Victoria and Caitlin Blewett is a fourth-year medical student in Cowichan territory in Duncan. They share their perspective on why new doctors may not want to go into family medicine.

Sofia Kennedy is a first year medical student at UBC's island medical program and lives in Victoria. She shared her perspective on what is wrong with the system in B.C. for family medicine, along with more listener stories about the impact of the family doctor shortage.
Caitlin Blewett is a fourth-year medical student in the UBC northern medical program, currently living in Cowichan territory in Duncan. Hear her perspective on the family doctor shortage, and more listener stories about the impact not being able to access primary care.

Nurse practitioners: Here to help

CBC's Kathryn Marlow looks into the role nurse practitioners could play in helping alleviate the strain on family doctors — and some of the obstacles in their way.

Gregor Craigie spoke with the CBC's Kathryn Marlow about the role nurse practioner's play in BC healthcare.

Health Minister Adrian Dix responds

B.C.'s Minister of Health responds to questions raised by listeners in response to the family doctor crisis.

Gregor Craigie spoke with BC's Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Panel: How to solve the family doctor crisis

On the Island host Gregor Craigie hosts a special hour-long discussion on the family doctor crisis with George Abbot, B.C.'s minister of health from 2005 to 2009, Renee Fernandez, executive director of B.C. Family Doctors and Adam Olsen, the Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

Gregor Craigie was joined by three people to talk about the challenges faced by people using, and working in, public health care. He was joined by: - George Abbott, the former minister of health for BC from 2005 - 2009 - Renee Fernandez, the Executive Director of BC Family Doctors - Adam Olsen, the Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. PART 1
The second part of our Crisis in Care forum.

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