Don't expect to get off the Kamloops family doctor 811 waiting list anytime soon

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KAMLOOPS - With 4,300 people registered in the Kamloops region on the new 811 Health Link B.C. doctor waitlist, the province will be moving onto the next phase of the project soon.

A triage system is being developed by Ministry of Health to prioritize people on the list, Minister of Health Terry Lake says.

“I think by next week they’ll have a questionnaire,” he says. “They’ll be contacting everyone with a questionnaire and people that have chronic complex diseases that we can link directly to IH services, whether it’s renal services, diabetes services, then we’ll do that”

People requiring mental health or substance abuse services will be linked to existing services. People with “high needs” are also to be prioritized, Lake says.

As for when people not requiring specialized services may get calls linking them to doctors or primary medical care, Lake says that depends on the ongoing recruitment but don't expect a call before 2017.

“It depends what kind of response we get from our recruitment efforts, how many locums we can get here,” he says. “I’d be more comfortable looking at things in January and hopefully we’ll start to see some more crystallized results at that time.”

He foresees a reduction of pressure on the health care system in Kamloops after January. Four new nurse practitioner positions have been approved and the team-based primary health care centres annouced in October are under construction, in addition to the ongoing recruitment.

“We hope to have one fully operational by March and one fully operational by April,” he says.

The 811 Health Link B.C. list was launched less than a month ago on Nov. 1.

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