- BC Games
Vision 2013: Cowichan’s family plan
Folks working with the Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice are proud to say they’ve matched more than half of the Cowichanians looking for family GPs.
That includes connecting roughly 2,000 Cowichanians with family doctors.
And it’s all in a days work as part of government initiative A GP for Me.
A joint program of the government of BC and the BC Medical Association, A GP for Me’s aim is to strengthen the health care system by helping people get a family doctor and supporting the relationship between patients and family doctors.
It also comes with a hefty goal of finding docs for all B.C. folks by 2015. Cowichan has been acting as one of its three prototype communities, along with White Rock and Prince George.
“Our single most effective approach in that goal has been recruiting new physicians,” said CVDFP executive director Valerie Nicol. “What we’ve discovered is when you involve the community, you can put a great package together.
“And when it comes to recruiting doctors, they’re not looking for a job, they’re looking for a lifestyle.”
Basically what folks of the CVDFP with help of the community have been up to is providing that lifestyle served and showcased on platter for interested physicians.
“It’s basically a marketing package. With families, typically they also need to find appropriate employment for their partner. There’s information about local schools. And another big ticket item is recreational activities, maybe it’s fishing, hiking, or hockey that interests them.
“And it’s really important to include real estate agents and information on housing,” she added.
This package model was recently introduced and designed to recruit docs to the Cowichan Lake area, which has received quite a bit of attention from CVDFP.
Plans are underway but in the very early stages for a multidisciplinary primary health care clinic to serve Cowichan Lakers.
There has also been talk of including a nurse practitioner in the clinic, and independent of the Cowichan Division of Family Practice, plans have been announced for a private walk-in clinic service in Lake Cowichan.
Another huge success for CVDFP was the opening of the Cowichan Maternity Clinic at the Cowichan District Hospital.
The clinic offers open access to mothers and babies and has played a significant part in attaching families to doctors.
As part of their recent goals, the CVDFP has been working on ways of sustaining funding to keep the clinic operational and thriving.
They’ve also set some attention to a communications plan, that will keep the public more informed on new physician’s, opportunities as well as other new health care information.
They also encourage folks to get on board with their recruitment drives, as it’s clear it takes many members of the community to make it work, said Nicol.
“If people are curious about what we’re doing, they can get involved,” she said.
For folks in living in the Cowichan Lake area, CVDFP’s holding another community consultation session Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. at the seniors centre in Lake Cowichan.
Anyone interested with recruitment can contact Valerie Nicol at firstname.lastname@example.org