Minister of Health Adrian Dix (centre). (Photo: Black Press file photo)

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

The province is rolling out $115 million in funds over the next three years to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs over three years.

Speaking at UBC’s Vancouver campus Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that the funding was part of the province primary-care strategy.

“Nurse practitioners are highly trained healthcare professionals and they’re essential members of any real primary care team,” said Dix.

“These new positions will mean a total of 626 nurse practitioners working in communities throughout the province.”

More details on the strategy are expected to be announced by Premier John Horgan Thursday.

The province had previously said it would be moving towards nurse practitioners as a patient’s first point of contact with the medical system, as the health ministry launched a new research strategy.

READ MORE: B.C. gives $2.7M boost to Alzheimer’s funding

READ MORE: B.C. announces $175 million to cut hip, knee surgery wait times

READ MORE: B.C. government to increase access to MRI exams

Dix said that the 200 new nurse practitioners will fill the gaps for the many thousands of B.C. residents who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

“There are, in B.C., 780,000 people who are unattached to a primary care provider,” said Dix.

“A third of the people who visit emergency rooms say that they wouldn’t go to emergency rooms if they could go to a clinic on that day.”

Fiona Hutchison, president of the BC Nurse Practitioners Association, said that nurse practitioners were originally introduced in B.C. in the early 2000s to help with primary care.

“Nurse practitioners have a background in registered nursing and have gone on to clinically-focused, masters-level education,” said Hutchison.

That allows the to “autonomously assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic health conditions.”

In B.C., nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe opioids.

Just over a million dollars will go towards creating 30 new nurse practitioner seats at B.C. universities.

Of those, 15 will be at UBC, 10 at the University of Victoria and five at the University of Northern B.C.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Osoyoos knife-wielding woman wins appeal to reduce sentence

Court of Appeal settled that the sentencing judge erred in principle, and the sentence was unfit

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

Online marketplace for downtown Penticton businesses an opportunity to support local

Marketplace will help support local businesses and assist customers in finding goods and services

RCMP pursuit in Okanagan Falls leads to arrest of Penticton man

Seamus Kirby of Penticton is facing numerous charges including flight from police

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read