Minister of Health Adrian Dix (centre). (Photo: Black Press file photo)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read