The Wellness & Health Action Coalition (WHAC) is a group of citizens who are committed to redesigning our rural health care from the community up. The group was established in 2014. To achieve our objectives, we work in partnership with the villages of Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Clinton, TNRD Areas I and E, the Western Division of Family Practice, Interior Health, the Ministry of Health, and UBC Okanagan.
Our key objectives are listed here, the most important of which is to create a community-based, interdisciplinary, team-based primary care clinic.
Our definition of primary care:
- Our clinics are the first point of contact for all residents of our catchment area to all health and well-being services;
- Our clinics consist of an interdisciplinary team of health practitioners including but not limited to doctors, nurses, medical technologists, pharmacists, first responders, and allied health and mental health practitioners;
- Our clinics will ensure the continuity of care through both the wellness and illness experiences of our patients;
- Our clinics will coordinate referrals to other levels of care such as hospitals and specialists and will assist patients in navigating the system.
We appreciate and support the mandates established by the Government of British Columbia and the Ministry of Health. These documents confirm our goals and commitments for the past four years. While there is much work to be done it is comforting to know that there are no major ideological problems with working together to improve rural health care.
Research has shown that primary care creates direct savings in acute care costs. There are expenses in establishing primary care that will need to be funded, however, the long-term savings of this approach will more than free up the initial start-up costs.