Military families can now jump to the top of waiting lists for family doctors thanks to a partnership between Military Family Services and Calian Technologies Ltd. The program is currently open to families living in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Halifax.
The program, launched in mid-January, is up and running for families of serving members of the CAF. The program is not currently offered to families of veterans or reservists, but could be a possibility in the future.
Using their network of over 400 physicians in more than 140 clinics, Calian is the administrative horse power behind pairing families up with physicians. Language and gender preferences are taken into consideration when pairing a family with a doctor, when possible.
A family that has just been posted into or is living in Winnipeg, Toronto or Halifax can start the process to finding a family physician by contacting the local MFRC, who will provide the families with the tools to connect to Calian. A representative from the Calian Primacy team will then help family members walk through the process of finding their new doctor.
“We thought OK here’s a network of physicians, some 400 family physicians, that we have a relationship with, and maybe we could leverage that relationship to get basically front-of-the-line status for military families,” said Scott Murray, Vice President for Health Services, Calian.
For years the lack of available family physicians has been identified as a major challenge for military families and was highlighted in a report from the Ombudsman of DND in 2013.
“An estimated four million Canadians don’t have a family doctor. It’s not a unique challenge per say but its compounded by the fact that they [military families] move around a lot so they literally bounce from waiting list to waiting list…we won’t solve the issue per se but hopefully we can make a meaningful difference for these families,” stated Murray.
Calian is looking to spread the program to other cities across Canada in 2016. The company is currently working with local MFRCs in several locations in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and British Columbia.
To-date, the up and running clinics have been successful, like the Winnipeg program that has been opened to military families since July 2015 with the participation of six clinics.
Many doctors in these local communities have been open to the idea and are participating. The Canadian Medical Association also reached out to their doctors to emphasize the priority of a program like this.
“They recognize that these are often young, typically healthy families that come and go every two to three years. So, they understand the commitment is not that huge, yet it takes away one of the fundamental challenges for these families every time they move,” noted Murray.
Calian Technologies and DND have been partnered for more than 25 years. The company supports health services provided to members of the CAF.
“We’ve been proud and honored to be a part of the work that we do, from training serving members to supporting their health and well-being. And Calian as a whole has a giveback, philanthropic culture to it. It’s something that we identify with and take great pride in so it’s something we’re happy to do. We have a network we can utilize in this way and extending our relationship with DND to families is a natural opportunity for us,” said Murray.
For more information visit their website or call 1-877-633-7722 x550.