After Hours Care program pilot is evolving

January 24, 2024

The Family Practice Services Committee (FPSC) is pleased to announce that the After Hours Care program pilot, initially set to end March 19, 2024, is transitioning to an ongoing program and expanding to a new region, providing certainty to participating family physicians, nurse practitioners, and their patients.

On January 22, 2024, the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice joined the After Hours Care program to help test the expansion process and address the current access to after hours care challenges in Vernon. Conversations are underway between Doctors of BC and the BC Ministry of Health about plans to expand the program further throughout the province.

FPSC’s After Hours Care program, made possible by HealthLink BC, provides longitudinal family physicians and nurse practitioners with an effective solution for after hours care for their attached patients. It meets the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC’s practice standard for Care Coverage Outside Regular Office Hours and addresses concerns raised by family doctors in The Future of Primary Care: Doctors of BC 2022 Member Engagement Report.

Attached patients of family physicians and nurse practitioners participating in the program receive access to after hours medical care and advice from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. during the week and 24 hours on weekends and holidays.

The After Hours Care program started as a pilot in September 2023 in four regions supported by the Langley, South Island and Victoria, South Okanagan Similkameen, and Thompson Region Divisions of Family Practice. The pilot currently covers 366,000 patients – about 70% of attached patients in these areas.

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