Houston Health Centre future… to Primary Care Home

Northern Health plans to have doctors and other health services work more collaboratively in the Houston Health Centre.

The Houston Health Centre is changing to incorporate doctors and other health services into one building.

It’s a move meant to strengthen Houston for doctor recruitment.

“It’s tough to recruit. Everybody is recruiting and everybody is short on physicians,” said Dr. Geoff Appleton, Northwest Medical Director for Northern Health.

“We need a bit of an edge, especially a small community like Houston.

“This would be a definite edge in recruitment,” he said.

Doctors “tend to want to walk into a situation where everything is set up for them,” Dr. Appleton said.

“They’re not as interested in setting up their own practice and being responsible for the management of that practice.”

Northern Health tried for two years to recruit a doctor when Dr. Morry retired from his practice in Houston in March 2011, and have been working for almost a year to recruit for Ninth Street Medical, said Cormac Hikisch, Health Service Administrator for Northern Health.

“I’m hopeful that by changing our recruitment approach to a model that’s inclusive of the care team at the Health Centre, I really think that will be more appealing.”

Northern Health is also now recruiting for two doctors to come to Houston, Hikisch said.

These changes come from recommendations in a Northern Health review of Houston health services.

The review started last September and was released Friday, looking at the best way to provide health services in Houston.

The review recommended that the Houston Health Centre be transformed into a primary care home.

That’s a model where different types of health services work together in one building, rather then being independent, said Penny Anguish, Northwest Chief Operating Officer with Northern Health.

A team of professionals from different health fields will work together to address a patient’s needs, she said.

Hikisch said the process of changing the way things work at the Houston Health Centre will be long-term, and may take close six years to complete.

 

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