Breaking News: Ministry of Health stalls on proposal to make proven healthcare solution widely available

Penticton, BC, Feb. 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The BC healthcare system is in crisis. One in five people do not have a family doctor. Emergency rooms are stretched beyond their limits as patients wait many hours, or days, for care. Today, Dr. Michelle Teo is launching the Better Care for BC campaign to encourage the provincial government to support the widespread adoption of Specialists Team Care.

Specialists Team Care is a team-based care model used in 10 different specialities that increases patient access to outpatient care. It has proven to increase the average patient capacity by 100% in 6 months. Over 90% of patients are very satisfied with the care they receive. The healthcare workers experience less burnout and have greater job satisfaction.

In 2022-2023, the Specialists Services Committee (composed of Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC) funded the first cohort of Specialists Team Care. Dr. Michelle Teo, a community rheumatologist, was co-lead for the initiative. With the overwhelming success of the Specialists Team Care initiative, there is a large demand for Specialists Team Care from patients and a growing waitlist of physicians across BC.

Dr. Teo left her medical practice in June 2023 to advocate for making Specialists Team Care widely available in BC. She gave the BC Ministry of Health a research proposal to offer Specialists Team Care to all physicians in outpatient care; funding is required to implement this healthcare reform. The provincial government will not commit to expediting the expansion of this proven healthcare solution.

The BC Ministry of Health will be receiving $3.3B from the federal government over the next 10 years, prioritizing access to primary care, reducing waitlists and supporting healthcare workers. Specialists Team Care addresses these priorities in as little as six months.

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