Community physicians bring expertise to SWITCH BC

News and Media Centre  SWITCH BC News  

Community physicians throughout the need practical solutions and change where their health, safety, and wellbeing are concerned.

That’s why SWITCH BC is bringing physicians together to help shape the work of the new Community Physician Health and Safety program.

“We are so grateful to the physicians who are sharing their time and insights with us as part of the Community Physician Health and Safety Task Group,” said Jennifer Zadorozniak, Community Physician Health and Safety program manager. “These physicians are sharing their operational challenges and competing demands from a health and safety perspective in urban and rural settings, and we really value their perspectives.”

The new provincewide Community Physician Health and Safety program will help support and enhance workplace health and safety for all physicians who work in the community along with their support staff. The program will provide tools and resources for community physicians to enhance the health and safety of their workplace, this includes psychological and physical health and safety, violence prevention, injury prevention, and more. It will also help ensure physicians can easily meet legislative requirements. Health and safety programming includes incident response and management skills, prevention tools, and access to health and safety coaching.

“The task group brings physicians together to provide direction and feedback to SWITCH BC on health and safety program initiatives to help inform our broader work,” Zadorozniak says. “This work includes reviewing WorkSafeBC requirements for employers and co-creating practical in-clinic programming in the form of tools, templates, and training.”

At the first meeting in February, participating physicians shared insights into their experiences with regulatory bodies, societal expectations placed on them, and care demands being unmet. They noted that violence is commonly experienced by physicians and their staff.

The Community Physician Health and Safety program work is being done in collaboration with key partners including the Ministry of Health, Doctors of BC, community physicians, and staff as part of the 2022 Physician Master Agreement.

The task group is next meeting at the Doctors of BC 2024 Provincial Physician Health and Safety Summit in April.