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B.C. announces plan to move residents off doctor waitlists, connect them with health-care providers

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B.C. health officials announced a plan Thursday to move thousands of people off a provincial health-care waitlist and connect them with a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the introduction of "attachment co-ordinators," whose role it will be to link people who are on B.C.'s Health Connect Registry to a health-care provider.

Officials said about 310,000 people are currently on the Health Connect Registry and about 67,000 people have been connected to doctors or are close to being connected to a doctor through that system. Previously, family doctors and nurse practitioners could access that list through a manual process when they were available to accept new patients.

Starting April 17, however, attachment co-ordinators will help connect people who are on the list to physicians who have space on their patient panels. The co-ordinators will look at the complexity of patients and how long they've been on the registry to refer them to practitioners who are accepting patients. Members of the same family will be referred to the same health-care practitioner.

Other digital tools will be added to the Health Connect Registry, such as allowing people to modify their registration if their health status changes.

Officials said these lists were previously updated manually, and the new system is expected to streamline the process of connecting patients to doctors.

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