Service recognized for increasing access to specialist care

A direct line has been linking family practitioners to specialists in Northern B.C.

A health care project that started three years ago has been recognized for successfully increasing access to specialist care in Northern B.C.

The ‘northern RACE line’ allows family physicians working in rural and remote areas to have rapid access to the help that their patients need. The service links general practitioners to specialists with a direct telephone line.

According to Sonya Kruger, Communications Officer for the Northern Medical Program, not only are patients receiving care more quickly, but in many cases, the telephone advice was all that was needed, and a referral was no longer required.

“This has saved many from the burden of travelling to and from Prince George for a specialist appointment – a journey that can be long, arduous and expensive,” she said. “For the physicians, the northern RACE line has provided the mechanism to improve communication with their colleagues for a more coordinated approach to the shared care of their patients.”

Since the line was instituted three years ago, the number of calls has increased from eight to 37 calls per month, and the number of available specialties grew from one to 13. To date, the line has received a total of 877 calls, including calls from family physicians in Burns Lake.

The project was developed by Prince George doctors Haidar Hadi and Dan Horvat, who recently received the health and wellness innovator of the year award for increasing access to specialist care in the north.

“Improved access to specialist physicians by family physicians allows for more rapid solutions for patients,” said Dr. Horvat. “This leads to more timely quality care for citizens and patients and reduces the need for not only waits but also travel.”

General practitioners in Northern B.C. wishing to seek advice from a specialist simply have to call a 1-800 hotline to be directly connected to the specialist service they require, or to leave a message for a return call. Within two hours, a specialist will respond to provide a quick consult regarding diagnosis, treatment, medication, or other advice the general practitioner may need regarding their patient’s care.

“Family physicians can feel more confident of being supported and being able to provide high quality care in a timely fashion,” added Dr. Horvat.

The northern RACE line was created as part of the ‘northern partners in care’ initiative, which focuses on helping northern family and specialist physicians improve access to quality care in Northern B.C.

Northern partners in care, a partnership of Doctors of B.C. and the provincial government, works with the belief that enhancing support for family physicians and nurse practitioners in the north will assist with physician recruitment and retention.

 

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Burns Lake

Conditions are favourable for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain

Aboriginal program coming to CNC here

A rejuvenated aboriginal studies program is coming to the College of New… Continue reading

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

First Nation pipeline protesters erect ‘tiny homes’ in B.C. Park

Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors say more homes being constructed in park

Burns Lake celebrates

Despite the cooler weather the Canada Day celebration was a success. The… Continue reading

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read