Partners link services together to improve access to maternity care

Pregnant mothers and Aboriginal families living in northern Vancouver Island face long drives to access prenatal care. But the collaboration of physicians from the Campbell River Maternity Clinic, Island Health, and the First Nations Health Authority, is helping to change this. These partners are working together to reduce the burden of travel and bring care as close to home as possible.  

Solutions include:

  • Having a family doctor make regular trips with an OB-GYN to see patients in northern Vancouver Island communities, with the family doctor providing care for low-risk pregnancies and the OB-GYN doing consults. 
  • Adding new clinic space at the Campbell River Hospital (increasing access to radiology and lab services) and providing funding for an MOA (arranged by the health authority). 
  • Garnering support from community programs.
  • Introducing health coaches to work with families. 
  • Using IT to link family doctors to specialists for complex cases. 

In addition to easing the travel burden for pregnant moms and their families from about 22 communities, these solutions have provided more equitable access to a wider range of comprehensive supports and services.  

“It’s taken great effort and creativity to make something new using only the pieces you’ve already got.”  
— Dr Jennifer Kask, Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice

“It’s about having the patience to walk the path together. And patience doesn’t necessarily mean just sitting back and waiting. It’s being active and engaging but allowing space for others to come alongside when they’re ready.”
— Christine Colbert, Executive Director, Campbell River Division of Family Practice