Thursday, February 22, 2018

More focus on urgent care, nurse practitioners among notes from MLA Rice's statement to Legislature on NDP plans for Health Care

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice spoke on themes of health care
on Monday with a statement in the Legislature

(photo from Legislature Video archive)

The theme of improving health care in rural and coastal communities gained some attention this week, as North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice spoke to the topic as part of the Monday session of the legislature.

Ms. Rice reviewed the new focus on team based care and the development of urgent care centres as the response to the family physician shortages found in British Columbia. The program would also seemingly give more duties to nurse practitioners, an element of the Health Care system that the NDP believes is under used.

In her comments, the North Coast MLA noted how the NDP government has taken a different path from health care initiatives of the previous government,  a program which she described as one which had failed in its ability to provide for access to family doctors.

As part of her statement on the physician's shortage, Ms. Rice outlines a few of the elements from the program that the NDP will put in motion.

This includes nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other health care providers working in concert to help people. Our focus is to institute team-based care and to create urgent care centres. Urgent care centres would allow people to be treated by nurses. 

We would be able to pay and incentivize the whole team, including nurse practitioners, not just doctors. Nurse practitioners are so under appreciated, yet they have a high level of training and a broad scope of practice. They would provide better primary care so as to keep people out of crowded emergency rooms.

The full transcript of her statement can be found from the Hansard Archive from the Monday morning session starting at just before the 10:55 AM point

As well, you can review her contribution to the discussion through the video below:

While the North Coast MLA is strongly engaged with the NDP government's roll out of plans to address the Doctor's shortage in the province, she has not spoken much to this point to another issue of some interest in the home constituency.

Other than a comment celebrating the recent announcement that Terrace will receive a new hospital to replace Mills Memorial, Ms. Rice has not said much about how that expansion and the creation of  Level Three trauma centre in Terrace may impact on health care options on the North Coast.

Safe guarding existing services and calling for expansion of health care options in both Prince Rupert and on Haida Gwaii, may be something that residents of the riding may wish to hear about, not only from the MLA, but from municipal and regional leaders on the North Coast as well.

Speaking in the Legislature towards the need to remain vigilant in protecting what we have and expanding on the services, would least to give some reassurance for constituents that their MLA is actively seeking improvements when it comes to delivery of health service in the region with her colleagues in the government.

For more items of interest related to Health Care in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Notes on the work of the North Coast MLA in Victoria can be found on our archive page.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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