New phone line to help with Kamloops doctor shortage goes live - InfoNews

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New phone line to help with Kamloops doctor shortage goes live

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November 01, 2016 - 4:25 PM

KAMLOOPS - If you're one of the thousands of Kamloops residents without a family doctor, a new system could help change that.

A new branch of the health services hotline opened today, Nov. 1, to allow residents to call in and add their name to a wait list for a family physician in the city. 

Health Minister and MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson Terry Lake announced last month the 811 Health Link B.C. number would be taking down names to add to a wait list. It's part of a four point plan to tackle the city's doctor shortage.

Lake did not make himself available for an interview with about the new primary care measure, but in a news release he states "while a waitlist is not a solution to the overall issue in Kamloops, it helps to mitigate the frustration residents feel when they don’t know where to turn."

When room becomes available at a primary care practice, people from the waitlist will be connected with the practice. It's not yet known how long those wait times could be.

"As our population has grown and aged, it has put pressure on our physicians and created challenges for many residents in Kamloops in accessing a family doctor," Lake previously said in a release. "We have been working very hard together in Kamloops to put innovative solutions in place to ensure better access to primary care services.”

The opening of the new system was on schedule with the Ministry of Health's time estimate.

If you're in need of a family doctor in Kamloops, you can call 811 to be connected with a health care worker and add your name to the list.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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