FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – While conceding it’s taken longer than originally anticipated, Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm says, as of July first, nearly after a year after a stakeholders committee began work on it, a new model for Fort St. John and District primary and community health care is scheduled to be in place, which he believes will hit all the essential community needs.
It will include a new doctor’s pay model, although the six physicians at the ABC clinic have opted to maintain their current system, and for the time being will monitor the new model, before making a decision whether to adopt it.
The new model will cover both the Fort St. John Family Practice Clinic and the Fort St. John Primary Care Clinic, currently with a combined total of 12 general physicians, who along with one nurse practitioner, offer their services out of the now, Northern Health owned, Fort St. John Medical Clinic.
In addition, Mr. Pimm noted again the Primary Care Clinic is still receiving new patients and unlike the two other aforementioned clinics, patients using its walk-in clinic, don’t have to be attached to any of its doctor practitioners.
He also says two new general practitioners are scheduled to arrive late this summer, but they’ll be needed, to just maintain the status quo, because two others have indicated they will be leaving this year.
It’s believed the three clinics could accommodate close to 30 doctors, and that’s the estimated number believed necessary to fully meet the needs of the community, in addition to the specialists who maintain their own practices in other facilities.
So, with a northeast recruiter now in place, efforts continue to locate and hire more doctors, and a society is now being developed to oversee all local health operations, with representatives from the three clinics, Northern Health, the Division of Family Practice, and Mr. Pimm, who will serve as a community representative.