A recent article published in the Canadian Family Physician Journal provided further evidence that significant action is needed on family medicine payment reform in order to address the dwindling numbers of family doctors providing community-based, longitudinal family medicine.
Canada has a higher than ever ratio of FPs to the population, yet Canadians continue to struggle to access comprehensive primary care. The research finds early career family physicians are choosing hospital-based work and specialized practice rather than longitudinal family medicine. These physicians identify the prevailing payment model in BC, fee-for-service, as one of the barriers to doing longitudinal practice.
The research provides further confirmation that the introduction of alternate payment models, like capitation funding, is needed to attract new family physicians to practice and retain practicing family physicians. In addition, the MSC Payment Schedule is in need of significant modernization in order to ensure primary care services are funded for 21st century care delivery.
We know, however, that payment reform alone will not be enough to reinvigorate comprehensive family medicine. We must make bold choices for a new tomorrow.
A CBC news story about this research can be found here.
Dr Goldis Mitra, the lead author and a BC Family Doctors board member, spoke to CBC’s Stephen Quinn on the Early Edition. Listen to the segment here.
Dr Renee Fernandez, a co-author and BC Family Doctors Executive Director, spoke on BC Today. Listen here. (Starts at 9:35)