Chilliwack/Hope – If there is one repeated call for action posted on social media, it’s “Where can I find a Doctor that is taking new patients?”
The Chilliwack Division of Family Practice has created a dedicated phone line for people without family doctors, in an effort to increase the number of patients attached to a physician.
PAM stands for Patient Attachment Mechanism, and is an initiative from A GP For Me. The phone line will act as a single point of contact for residents from Chilliwack to Boston Bar who want to be connected to a primary care clinic, a family doctor, or a nurse practitioner in their community.
The service is available for people who do not have a regular family doctor or nurse practitioner. When they call the number, they will have to complete a patient intake form to be assessed. They will be placed in line based on need, and cared for if needed by a team of health care practitioners.
Patients with complex health problems will be prioritized in the system, as having an attachment to a family doctor is known to improve health care outcomes.
PAM is just one of six strategies that the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice has adopted from A GP For Me. They are also increasing support for the Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic, where unattached patients can find care. They are expanding rural services and outreach programs in the Hope and Fraser Canyon areas, which is improve access to primary care for new mothers, aboriginal patients, and seniors.
They are also creating a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy, partnering with Fraser Health to offer support and coaching to doctors and medical staff, and enhancing community education and awareness through social media.
In Chilliwack, Agassiz, and Harrison, phone . In Hope and the Fraser Canyon, phone toll-free 1-844-795-0034.