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Types of Physician Payments

Call Back

A “Call Back” is when a physician requests the services of another physician to undertake emergency health services, where the failure to take the emergency response would adversely affect a patient’s outcome. 

All physicians who anticipate initiating or providing Call Back services should familiarize themselves with the criteria - please contact Physician Compensation for details..  Key criteria include:
• treatment is required on an emergency basis;
• at the time of the call back, the physician is not already on site, on shift, or on call;
• the physician goes into a hospital (or other designated facility) to treat the patient within three hours of being called; and
• the patient is a third party or ‘orphaned patient’ (does not have a family physician (FP) or where the patient’s FP does not have privileges at the hospital or care facility that the patient has been admitted).

To receive payment for a Call Back service, authorized physicians are to submit a VIHA Call Back invoice to Physician Compensation within 30 days of the Call Back.

Rural Practice Subsidiary Programs

The Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement (RSA), negotiated between the BC Government and BC Medical Association, outlines a number of funding arrangements designed to address the special needs of both rural communities and physicians practicing in rural communities.  Rural Practice Subsidiary Programs include:

1. Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund (REEF)

The Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund (“REEF”) provides funding to support reliable, continuous or regularly scheduled Emergency Department service hours to improve public access to emergency services in rural communities.

The program recognizes and supports general practitioners in rural communities where Fee-for-Service physicians typically provide hospital services in conjunction with a full family or general practice.  To be eligible, physicians must receive compensation on a Fee-for-Service model and maintain active or provisional staff privileges at their rural community hospital or designated care facility.  All eligible rural communities are stated in the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement (RSA).

2. Rural GP Locum Program (RGPLP)

The Rural General Practitioner Locum Program (RGPLP) helps rural general practitioners (GPs) secure subsidized periods of leave from their practices for purposes such as continuing medical education, maternity leave, vacation and health needs, in accordance with the specific terms, conditions, rules and eligibility criteria approved or established by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) from time to time. 

To qualify, the host GP must be living and practicing medicine in an eligible RSA community with seven or fewer full-time GPs. See the appendixes of the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement for eligible rural communities.

3. Rural Specialist Locum Program (RSLP)

The Rural Specialist Locum Program provides support for eligible Specialist Physicians to have reasonable periods of leave from their practices for such purposes as continuing medical education, parental leave, vacation, health needs; and, to assist in the provision of continuous specialist coverage.

4. Rural Continuing Medical Education (RCME)

The Rural Continuing Medical Education program provides funding to eligible rural physicians, to update and enhance medical skills and credentials required for rural practice.  These benefits are in addition to the CME entitlement provided for in the Working Agreement between the Government and the BCMA.  Please contact Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for more information at Antoinette.picone@viha.ca.

5. Rural Retention Program (RRP)

The Rural Retention Program provides a premium to eligible physicians.

6. Isolation Allowance Fund (IAF)

The Isolation Allowance provides funding for eligible physicians who provide necessary medical services in communities with fewer than four physicians and no hospital; and, where the physician does not receive MOCAP, Call Back, or Doctor of the Day payments.

7. Recruitment Incentive Fund (RIF)

The Recruitment Incentive is for physicians recruited to current or pending vacancies in eligible communities.

8. Recruitment Contingency Fund (RCF)

The Rural Recruitment Contingency Fund assists with recruitment expenses incurred for eligible communities/physicians, where difficulty filling a vacancy is, or is expected to be, especially severe; and, where the failure to fill the vacancy in a timely manner would have a significant impact on the delivery of medical care required.

9. Northern & Isolation Travel Assistance Outreach Program (NITAOP)

The Northern and Isolation Travel Assistance Outreach Program provides funding for approved physicians who visit rural and isolated communities to provide medical services. The program also provides a travel time honorarium for approved visiting specialists and family medicine physicians. 

Medical Affairs works with VIHA programs to determine NITAOP visits for the Region.  Then, in the fall of each year, the Health Authority submits a request to the Ministry of Health for the upcoming fiscal year.  Physicians and Programs are notified by the Health Authority of approved visits at the beginning of each fiscal year.