Rural B.C. Health Needs Highlight Committee Report
Prince George, B.C.- The Province’s Select Standing Committee on Health has released its final report following a series of public consultations, this time, rural B.C. is in the spotlight.
“All British Columbians, no matter where in the province they live and whatever their health concerns, should have access to timely, high-quality health care” says Committee Chair Linda Larson.
The report makes 59 recommendations focusing on rural health care, interdisciplinary teams, and addiction recovery programs.
Here are some of the highlights:
· Expand access to health care in rural, remote and isolated areas with a full suite of health care services, including, but not limited to: acute care; home supports; respite care; mental health and addictions services; counselling; specialists; testing or imaging; preventative and rehabilitative care; and cardiac, surgical, maternity and pediatric care.
· Expand or provide transportation options that are accessible, affordable and readily available to enable access to health care, including ground, air and water transportation, as well as public transit and shuttle bus options.
· Support aging in place through increased home supports, and assisted living and residential care spaces.
· Increase the use of alternative models of health care delivery, including interdisciplinary teams, fully-accessible travelling diagnostic and screening clinics, mobile health units, and expanded use of nurse practitioners, nurses and midwives.
· Expand Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and community paramedic programs to enable paramedics to provide other health services, in addition to emergency services, in remote, rural and isolated communities.
· Implement alternative compensation models, including salary, population-based funding or other blended funding models, to support new ways of delivering health care, such as the increased use of interdisciplinary co-located teams.
· Accelerate the qualifying and approval process for integrating foreign-trained health care providers to work in British Columbia
· Significantly increase the number of detoxification, post-detoxification, treatment and recovery program beds to meet current needs, and allow clients to remain in these programs as required by their individualized recovery plans.
· Eliminate financial barriers that limit access to treatment and recovery programs and accommodate parental, family or caregiver support within these programs as appropriate.
· Eliminate financial and geographic barriers for those living in remote, rural and isolated communities to access residential and community-based treatment, post-detoxification and recovery programs with assistance for travel costs.
The full report can be accessed here.