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

DNA confirms SUV struck and killed Abbotsford cyclist in 2015, court hears

Kerry Froese operated company that owned vehicle that struck and killed Ronald James Scott in 2015

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

COLUMN: Cities should enlist teenagers to clear sidewalks for absentee owners

Connecting shovelers with property owners could make cities more walkable after a snow storm

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sex assaults linked, RCMP ask women not to walk alone in Coquitlam park

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read