Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund

The Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund provides funding for eligible rural emergency departments to support fee for service physicians who collaboratively plan for and provide public access to emergency department services on a regular, scheduled basis. 

Purpose and Principles

This program encourages the provision of reliable, continuous (or regularly scheduled and posted), emergency department service hours as established by the health authority, to improve public access to emergency services in health authority designated emergency departments in rural British Columbia served by fee-for-service physicians.

The program recognizes and supports the breadth and comprehensive nature of general practice in rural British Columbia communities where fee-for-service physicians typically provide hospital services in conjunction with providing full scope, family practice services in their community office practices.

Program Objectives

  1. To strengthen stability of public access to hospital and health authority designated Diagnostic and Treatment Centre emergency department services in rural communities.
  2. To increase emergency department capacity, if required, by increasing the number of health-care service providers supporting the hospital or health authority designated Diagnostic and Treatment Centre emergency departments where possible.
  3. Where feasible, to encourage physician groups to develop emergency department stabilization plans that encompass other communities as well as their own. Plans incorporating a larger pool of resources should facilitate greater stability.
  4. To stabilize public access to emergency department services by effectively and efficiently integrating emergency department services with the health authority’s health-care service delivery plans for the community and the region.
  5. To contain clear accountability provisions for the year-long provision of continuous or regularly scheduled and posted emergency department public access.
  6. To ensure that the emergency department plan recognizes the comprehensive range of health-care services required from physicians in rural communities and does not destabilize other services important to the community(e.g., primary care).
  7. To tailor models of reliable emergency department service delivery appropriately to individual community circumstances.
  8. To help retain and encourage the recruitment of physicians to live and work in rural communities.