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.

Just Posted

Ucluelet fears orca protection could shut down fisheries

“I beg you to start a process to put a stick in the wheels and slow these people down.”

Ucluelet mayor thanks team at last meeting

Dianne St. Jacques is not running for re-election this month.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store

On the first day cannabis was legal a young entrepreneur capitalized on cookie sales

Tougher laws introduced against bestiality, animal fighting

The Liberal government is proposing to strengthen the laws today

Money Monitor: Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

BMO’s Omar Abouzaher outlines the pros and cons of both types of mortgages

Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road

Around the BCHL: Youth trumps experience for Chilliwack and Salmon Arm

Around the BCHL is a look at goings-on in the BCHL and the junior A world.

GoByBike challenge launched in Ucluelet

Participants get a chance to win a cycle tour in Sicily, Italy.

Proportional representation grows government, B.C. study finds

Spending, deficits higher in countries where voting system used

Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Advocates say the black market will continue to thrive until small retail shops and craft growers are included in the regime.

Most Read