Family physicians in the communities of Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls have come together to help children and their immediate families in these three communities gain access to a family physician.
“There are more than 1,500 children under the age of 19 in our three communities that at many points in their lives have or will need access to primary healthcare” explains Dr. Steve Evans, a local doctor in Oliver and a member of the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice. “We know that a number of these children do not have a family doctor, which can result in unnecessary visits to the emergency room, or preventable health issues.”
Parents or guardians of a child in need of a family doctor, and living in the communities of Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls, can call Lorri Depourcq at the South Okanagan General Hospital (250-498-5051) to make a request. The child will then be connected to one of the area family doctors who is accepting new patients on a rotational system.
The SOS Division is one of 33 Divisions of Family Practice in B.C. Funded by a joint committee of the government of B.C. and Doctors of B.C., Divisions are not-for-profit community based groups of family physicians working together to achieve common health care goals.
“We are thrilled that local communities within our region are taking on an initiative such as this to connect children in need to family doctors” says Dr. Murali Venkataraman, physician lead and vicechair of the SOS Division. “We will continue to do whatever we can to support our colleagues in creating local solutions to improving access to primary healthcare”.
This local project is part of the SOS Division’s contribution to the province wide A GP for Me initiative also funded by the government of B.C. and the Doctors of B.C. to help British Columbians without a doctor to find one, and to strengthen capacity in the primary care system.