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VIHA issues call for docs

The health authority has put out an official invite for doctors who want to be part of the new Oceanside Health Centre when it opens in Parksville this June.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) issued a news release Monday saying it "is looking for physician partners to join the multidisciplinary team of health-care providers who will support better health and well-being for Oceanside residents."

Doctors have 11 days to respond to VIHA's expressions of interest (EOI) call. VIHA said it is attempting through this EOI to "identify doctors who are interested in delivering urgent care in the Oceanside Health Centre (OHC) and for family physicians who are interested in locating practices within the facility."

VIHA spokesperson Suzanne Germain said Monday said the health authority has heard from some doctors informally about the possibilities at OHC.

"We've had a number of physicians saying this is a model of service that totally interests them," said Germain. "It isn't the kind of job that will appeal to every physician."

Germain said any physician licensed to practise in B.C. is welcome to fill in the five pages of documents and submit their EOI.

In VIHA's news release Monday, Dr. Robert Burns, executive medical director, population and community health, attempted to explain how this position is unque.

"Physicians will play a key role in the delivery of wellness, prevention-focused health care services in the Oceanside Health Centre, working as part of a new, innovative team approach to care, where physicians partner with other health care providers such as nurse practitioners, registered nurses, therapists, mental health and addictions workers and home and community care staff," said Burns. "This opportunity will appeal to physicians who are interested in new approaches to managing health and who like working as part of an interdisciplinary team."

The EOI is also seeking physicians interested in providing coverage for the OCH's urgent care service, which will be open seven days a week, 15 hours a day to provide health care services — without an appointment being needed — to individuals with urgent, but non-emergency medical needs, said the release.

Burns also said he knows people in this region have questions about the staffing of the OHC.

"(VIHA) recognizes that area physicians and other members of the community have been interested in learning more about the model of physicians' services in the Oceanside Health Centre for some time," said Burns. "We are pleased to be moving forward with this recruitment process and to provide details around how the new model will integrate physician services."

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