Many grads ‘don’t want to run a business — that’s not what they went to medical school for’
Maryse Zeidler · CBC News · Posted: Mar 24, 2019 7:30 AM PT | Last Updated: 9 hours ago
Dr. Rita McCracken, left, with a patient at a nursing home she works at. McCracken wants the province to provide more team-based care for patients. (Providence Health Care)
A Vancouver doctor says the tentative agreement British Columbia recently reached with the province’s 14,000 doctors doesn’t do enough to change family medicine and address what she describes as a crisis in primary care.
Dr. Rita McCracken, a physician and University of British Columbia researcher, says the agreement doesn’t include newer ways for doctors to work and get paid.
“The care that has been provided through the old system has, by and large, been pretty good care,” McCracken said.
“We’re seeing that other systems might be better for population health.”
‘A sense of urgency’
Currently, most family doctors in B.C. are paid about $30 per patient visit — whether they’re treating a cold or a complex health problem.
Physicians run their practice as a business, and pay out overhead costs like staff and office space at an average rate of about $60 per hour or more.
• SECOND OPINIONCanadian health care’s ‘one issue per visit’ problem Continue reading
What would it look like for the healthcare system to see a patient as a whole person, instead of focusing on just their medical diagnoses? What if, along with medication, doctors and nurse practitioners were enabled to prescribe dance lessons, cooking classes, volunteer roles, caregiver supports, single-parent groups, and connections to bereavement networks?
This kind of “social prescription” is sweeping across the United Kingdom and gaining international recognition. That’s because what makes people healthy isn’t just genetics and lifestyle choices. Access to healthy food, education, employment, income, and opportunities for connectedness all have significant impacts on a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Good clinicians know this, and need a trusted system to turn to for the issues their clients face that are outside the providers’ medical expertise, time, or mandate.
Good news. First steps on Pharmacare. “The recommendations in today’s report have the potential to increase access and move to lower costs if implemented alongside a universal, national, public pharmacare program,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
“The creation of a national drug agency and the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based national drug formulary are significant changes that will move Canada in the right direction,” said Yussuff. “Delivering this through a pharmacare model designed similarly to Medicare will ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to the medications they need, as they do right now with hospitals and doctors,” he continued.