As we reflect on the past year, we share our gratitude with every family physician in the province for your commitment and your ongoing dedication to patients over the past year. This year presented many challenges, and we share your worries about the increase in respiratory infections that we’re seeing in the community, especially in children. We are also ending the year with a great deal of optimism about the future of family practice given the recent changes that we have seen:
- A new payment model was announced that is a new option for family physicians who want to practice in a different way. Work is underway to set up the new payment model and the materials to support physicians who sign up for the model.
- In the summer 2022 engagements, we heard a lot about burdens and in response, FPSC (Family Practice Services Committee) launched several pilot initiatives. These include a new after hours coverage pilot and an urban locum coverage pilot. In fact, your input during the engagement has helped to outline the direction for us to take over the next few years.
- As announced on December 7th, FPSC has begun significant changes to the model for PCN (primary care networks) governance, reflecting our recent discussions with the divisions, as well as feedback collected from all the partners since PCNs were launched.
- On December 6th, the PMA was ratified, which brings many benefits for family physicians and the profession as a whole.
Over the holiday season, we encourage you to take time to reflect on what’s important to you, including how the new payment model can better support how you want to practice—if you choose to sign up for it. The new payment model is transformative not just because of how it recognizes the value of family physicians, but also because it is an opportunity to shift the way you work—to work the way many of us have wanted to ever since we began training in medical school:
- Now that there’s recognition of the indirect patient care you do, perhaps you want to take more control of your calendar by scheduling that work into set blocks of time as opposed to squeezing in here and there.
- Perhaps the support of the new payment model will enable you to take on new quality improvement projects, including practice changes you can make to improve efficiency, patient care, and balance.
- If you change your hours of direct patient care to make your schedule more sustainable, and consider the structure and composition of your team and their support for patient care, how can you ensure continued access for your patients?
The year 2023 is set to be a big year for change—but as we all know, change takes time. Please bear with us. We are committed to ensuring you will be supported, not only from FPSC, but also through working with your Division of Family Practice, and other medical leadership organizations.
Thank you for the care you continue to provide for your patients and their families during these challenging times. Please stay safe. We look forward to working with you to realize some of the biggest changes in primary care in many decades.