Watch the video below for an overview of the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC).
The General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) was formed in 2002 and first met in January 2003 to begin as a trial effort to improve patient care and physician satisfaction in BC.
At the time, a dwindling number of BC’s medical school graduates were choosing family medicine as a career and a bulging number of GPs were nearing retirement.
The committee of representatives from the BCMA and the BC Ministry of Health began looking for new ways to address the mounting problems of low morale and decreasing professional satisfaction among BC’s full-service family practice physicians.
The GPSC’s first step was to develop a range of new incentive payments in support of full-service family practitioners. The committee then held Professional Quality Improvement Days (PQIDs)—province-wide consultations -- with over 1000 GPs to hear their concerns, identify areas of family medicine that needed support, and get recommendations on how to support GPs.
Four priorities were identified:
- Value us
- Train us
- Support us
- Pay us
Nine years later, the GPSC boasts more than five separate programs to improve the care patients receive and the way in which doctors deliver it. Through participation in these programs, a growing number of BC physicians are finding their way back to rewarding and efficient clinical practice.
GPSC programs include:
- The Full-service Family Practice (FP) Incentive Program, which administers a variety of projects, including shared care networks, compensation for complex care, chronic disease prevention and management, collaborative mental health care, and more.
- The Practice Support Program (PSP), which offers focused training sessions for physicians and their medical office assistants (MOAs) to help them improve practice efficiency and to support enhanced delivery of patient care. The PSP began as an initiative of the GPSC and now receives additional direction, support, and funding from the Shared Care Committee and the Specialist Services Committee (also partnerships between the BCMA and Ministry of Health).
- Divisions of Family Practice, which are community-based affiliations of family physicians working together to achieve common health care goals. This program was designed to improve patient care, increase family physicians’ influence on health care delivery and policy, and provide professional satisfaction for physicians. Visit www.divisionsbc.ca.
- The Community Healthcare and Resource Directory (CHARD), which is a free, secure web-based database for health care providers designed to provide comprehensive, up-to-date listings for community health care referral resources, searchable by type of service or geographic proximity. Visit www.info.chardbc.ca.
- Attachment initiative, which aims to increase the number of British Columbians who have access to a family doctor.
With the help of GPSC initiatives, BC’s primary care physicians are better able to meet the growing demands of caring for an aging population with more complicated conditions and learning more advanced, continually developing technologies and medical therapies.
Physicians are eligible to participate in GPSC incentive programs if they:
- Have a valid BC Medical Service Plan practitioner number (practitioners who have billed any specialty consultation fee in the previous 12 months are not eligible),
- Are currently in general practice in BC as a full-service family physician, and
- Are responsible for providing the patient’s longitudinal general practice care.
The GPSC continues to develop programs to enhance the pivotal role of primary care physicians. Our goal is to support both those currently on the frontlines of health care and medical students considering the specialty of family practice.
GPSC committee members
Dr Bill Cavers, BCMA, Co-chair
Dr Jean Clarke, BCMA
Dr George Watson, BCMA
Dr Brian Winsby, BCMA
Dr. Joanne Young, BCMA
Dr John Hamilton, Ministry of Health
Ms Kelly McQuillen, Ministry of Health, Co-chair
Dr Garey Mazowita, Ministry of Health