A new website has been created to help residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows find a family doctor.
A GP for Me is a program that has been recruiting doctors to live in the community. Run by the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, it is now helping those doctors to attract patients.
Patients who live in Maple Ridge and are looking for a doctor can visitfindadoctormapleridge.ca, and those who live in Pitt Meadows can see findadoctorpittmeadows.ca.
A GP For Me was a partner initiative between the Doctors of B.C. and the provincial government. It has been a big success locally, having attracted seven new physicians to set up practice in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Health research shows that continuous doctor-patient relationships lead to the best health outcomes, but the Division of Family Practice found that there were 17,000 people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows who did not have a family physician.
They also found that more than one-third of the community’s doctors will be retiring over the next 10 years, and in that same time frame, the area’s population will grow by 19 per cent. So there was some urgency in bringing more doctors to the area.
“Our community recognizes that the recruitment and retention of physicians is everyone’s responsibility,” says Dr. Ursula Luitingh, board chair for the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice.
“The success of our recruitment efforts is in large part due to our warm, welcoming Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and friendly community members and physicians who contribute to our recruitment and retention program.”
If there are new or existing family physicians in the community who are accepting patients, they will be listed on the new websites. This week, the website listed three Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows doctors who are accepting new patients.
“I know what a positive impact these two websites will have for residents looking for a doctor in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows,” said Dr. Doug Bing, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows and a dentist.
“Having good access to health care services means better health for individuals and strengthens the community as a whole.”
The work of A GP for Me is also ongoing to help doctors increase their capacity to take on new patients by delegating administrative and non-essential clinical functions to appropriate staff members in their practices.