Finding a family doctor in the Tri-Cities just got a little easier.
The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice, which covers the Tri-Cities and New Westminster, has launched a Patient Attachment Waitlist. Anyone looking for a primary care provider – a family doctor or nurse practitioner – can sign up on the waitlist until a match is found in their area.
The goal is to streamline and simplify the process of finding a care provider – something that has become more challenging in recent years, according to a press release from the division.
The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice says having a primary care provider is a key part of good health; it’s been identified as a key indicator of long-term health and well-being, particularly for those with complex or chronic health conditions. Primary care providers are able to build a relationship with patients over time, and they possess an intimate knowledge and understanding of their patients’ personal health history and journey.
When patients lose primary care providers – for instance, with the retirement of a longtime physician – finding a replacement can be stressful.
“I have had the same family doctor for the last 43 years,” said one patient in the press release. “He is intimately aware of my history – history that can’t be known by a doctor at a walk-in clinic who has no connection to my family. My family doctor will soon retire, and I am terrified that I will no longer have a family doctor who understands my health-care needs and history.”
The press release notes that the number of patients who are connected to care providers through the waitlist will ultimately depend on the number of family doctors and nurse practitioners able to accept new patients.
However, it points out that the waitlist offers a “clearly defined process” for prospective patients to connect with a provider, and it also gives the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice data to help monitor its effectiveness.
So far, the waitlist has connected nearly 1,500 patients with a care provider.
You can find the waitlist online here.
While waiting to get matched with a care provider, patients can access the Pathways BC Virtual Care Directory to find virtual and walk-in care.