CURRENT STATE OF PRIMARY CARE IN WHISTLER
There are fewer doctors providing full service family practice in the past five years, and practices are closing.
It is estimated that over 50% of people don't have a family doctor, and those that do may face long wait times.
BC's Ministry of Health proposes 800-1,000 patients per practitioner. This means Whistler needs a minimum of 14 to 16 full time equivalent practitioners, while we have 6 - 7.
Doctors are choosing not to provide full service family practice.
Whistler does not have a shortage of doctors (there are over 30 doctors working at the Whistler Health Care Centre). We have a shortage of doctors providing full service family practice. We are not unique. This is the case in many communities in BC. Why is that?
Complexity of Running a Practice
Patient care has grown increasingly complex requiring more diagnostics and labs than in previous years and requires far more comprehensive record keeping and patient tracking.
Structures Don't Support Team-based Care
Doctors want to, and are encouraged to, work in healthcare teams but small family practices do not support this.
Financially Challenging to Run a Practice
Like all Whistler businesses, clinic overheads are high, and staff are hard to find and retain. Billing under fee for service model is financially challenging.
All of this means that fewer doctors are choosing full service family practice.