Ads at two private clinics in the Cariboo hoping to attract and retain nurse practitioners to the region have been posted.
Chair with the Board of Directors of the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice (CIRD), Dr. Bruce Nicolson says they have entered into a pilot program with the Ministry of Health to deal with the issue of the huge amount of work that’s coming down in terms of providing health care and the dwindling resources that are available to provide it.
“We have active programs to try and recruit doctors to Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, and Tatla Lake,” he says.
“It’s very difficult to keep up with the demand particularly as baby boomers move through and along with those baby boomers there are a lot of primary care physicians and a lot of them are retiring. Nurse practitioners are an attempt to increase the number of primary care practitioners that are available to deal with that requirement.”
Nurse practitioners have been working for the Health Authority for a number of years and the new pilot program according to Dr. Nicolson is an attempt to get them into private clinics 4 of which are in Williams Lake and 2 in 100 Mile House.
He notes that the CIRD is negotiating on the clinic’s behalf with the Ministry to make that happen and that the Yorston Clinic in Williams Lake and the Exeter Clinic in 100 Mile have completed the negotiating process and currently have listed ads seeking nurse practitioners.
“We have been meeting with nurse practitioners that are working with the health authority to look at where to advertise and how to advertise, and we’ll be putting a blitz on that. We have new nurse practitioners graduating within the next couple of months in British Columbia so we’re going to try and direct our focus on them and also to try and attract other nurse practitioners that are available throughout the province,” Dr. Nicolson adds.
“Nurse practitioners are at a premium just as general practitioners are and there’s really more demand than there is availability but it’s a matter of working hard to recruit and we’re certainly making efforts to do that.”