People with GPs are healthier

Re: “Health system needs more than baby steps,” editorial, Oct. 7.

For a few years, British Columbia branded itself as the Best Place on Earth. The editorial says that 700,000 British Columbians have no GP. There is a disconnect between what the government said and what people experience.

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People who have a primary-care physician are less likely to die of heart disease, cancer and infection than people who do not, and a person with a GP costs the health system less than a person who does not.

Government-funded clinics could include doctors, nurses and social workers. Doctors will see more patients when government agencies and private companies reduce the number of forms the doctor has to fill out. (See Steve Wallace’s column of Sept. 21.) The province could fund more positions in the UBC family-medicine residency program, and could offer to pay down some of the debt accumulated in medical school for graduates who commit to work in B.C.

Robert Shepherd, GP


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