No end in sight to B.C.’s doctor shortage as major online resource disappears

No end in sight to B.C.’s doctor shortage as major online resource disappears - image
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If you’re looking for a new family doctor, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.’s website is no longer the place to go.

The organization has removed the online database showing doctors who are accepting patients.

But Doctors of BC said the government still has a number of resources to help you find a doctor; the only concern is that there aren’t many doctors to choose from.

There aren’t enough doctors graduating to replace the ones that are retiring as the population grows older and sicker, said Doctors of BC president Dr. Trina Larsen Soles.

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“As the baby boomers move into retirement and live longer, because we’ve been pretty good at keeping people alive, eventually you get ill,” she said.

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“You tend to have illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and these are all things like complicated chronic diseases, and it’s not a five-minute office visit.”

Larsen Soles said the demand for lengthy and multiple visits is affecting how often doctors can see patients.

To keep up, some doctors are being creative — including some in her community of Golden, B.C.

“We don’t have a social worker, and I spend a lot of time dealing with stuff that isn’t really medical, that someone else could be better trained to do if that we had that possibility, but these things are difficult,” she said.

Larsen Soles said physicians are burned out because the health system is so stressed.

The Ministry of Health has spoken with Doctors of BC about developing a project around urgent care centers — but Larsen Soles says there’s just no timeline for it right now.

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