VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It seems the province has officially fallen short of its goal to find a family doctor for every British Columbian.
The BC government is admitting its “GP for Me” program has failed to meet the target.
It was a strategy officially named in 2013. The province found $132 million for the effort before the election in 2013. The promise was to connect everyone with a family doctor by 2015.
Clearly, that didn’t happen.
Health Minister Terry Lake tells the Times Colonist it’s not going to happen this year, either. He tells the paper the goal was a stretch and he doesn’t know of one jurisdiction which has achieved that mark.
NDP Health Critic Judy Darcy doubts the BC Liberals ever intended to reach the target.
“To my mind, this was an election promise made for the purposes of getting elected. The government had no clear way to measure whether they were making any progress. Now, we stay where stand — another broken promise.”
The Health Ministry hopes to instead match everyone with what they call a primary care home, where patients can be helped by a team of medical professionals. There’s no deadline set for that goal.
The ministry says in a statement the program is ongoing and has had success in some areas. It says it won’t apologize for its “aspirational goal.” It adds the program has sparked momentum needed to address the issue. It says “GP for Me” lays the foundation for the next steps in primary healthcare.