P.A.M. short for patient attachment mechanism, promises to deliver health care to the most vulnerable. At the second annual Partners in Health Care Community Forum at the Hope and District Recreation Centre — Conference Centre, current initiatives were discussed regarding the improved access to medical care.
The Chilliwack Division of Family practitioners presented their new pilot program a GP for Me, which is an expansive initiative to connect the community with local practitioners. It involves Hope clinic expansions and Fraser Canyon outreach, the recruitment and retention of new physicians to the area, practice support, coaching and community education.
“We are hoping to deliver a better model that is dedicated to primary care and community care — we’re your first line in health care and there’s a lot of initiatives going on,” said Ken Becotte, executive director of the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice.
An overhaul of the system was initiated by the government of BC and the Doctors of BC as a province wide campaign to provide adequate, accessible and fully comprehensive care to communities that don’t necessarily have the proper supports in place.
Geographic isolation is often a huge barrier to providing the necessary health care to residents and often people have been sent to areas such as Chilliwack to facilitate their immediate, extended health care, and to find a general practitioner.
“We now have divisions all over the province, which includes not just Chilliwack, but Hope, Agassi, Seabird Island, Fraser Canyon and Boston Bar,” said Becotte.
A GP for Me honours concerns for people who are currently unattached, or without a local healthcare provider, patients whose family practitioner or nurse practitioner are not local and patients seeking a different primary care provider.
The most vulnerable of the population are slated to be first in line to secure a residential physician through their new P.A.M system which utilizes the fresh slogan“Call PAM.” P.A.M acts as a health care hotline that links the populace with a Patient Attachment Coordinator, who will facilitate the connection between the individual and a provider.
Health care will be sustained for that patient in the interim. Unfortunately, for those who have waited patiently over the years and are having to drive to Chilliwack for a prescription, or to see their main health care provider, the wait will continue until priority unattached populations have secured care.
“It’s all about providing better health care for our community and our residents,” said Becotte.