Walk-in Clinics of B.C. launching petition for more family doctors - InfoNews

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Walk-in Clinics of B.C. launching petition for more family doctors

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April 04, 2017 - 8:00 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A petition will be launched this week, calling on the provincial government to train, recruit and retain more family doctors in B.C.

According to a news release from Walk-in Clinics of B.C., the petition will be launched April 7 at a media conference in the Lower Mainland. Founding director of Walk-in Clinics of B.C. Mike McLoughlin says this petition highlights the need for general practitioners.

“It is clear there is a critical shortage of family doctors in B.C.,” McLoughlin says in the release. “Walk-in clinics are closing because they cannot get the physicians to staff their schedule.”

McLoughlin points out this is a province-wide problem. North Kamloops' sole walk-in clinic shut its doors to new patients last Friday, while in the past year two walk-in clinics have closed in Kelowna, two in Vernon and two in Victoria.

He says 45 clinics have closed or closed access to walk-in patients over the past five years.

“This is an unprecedented crisis in primary care in British Columbia," McLoughlin says. "The government needs to take immediate action to retain the existing compliment of doctors and make training and recruitment of more family doctors a top priority in the upcoming election."

He says although more family doctors are registered in the province than ever before, the number isn't keeping up with the demand. The petition calls on the government to provide better primary care access by implementing more family doctors.

McLoughlin says the petition will be distributed to walk-in clinics throughout the province to collect signatures, and says the campaign will run until the family doctor shortage is addressed.

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