Memorandum of Understanding



The Ministry of Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Drs. Bosman, Harding, Hoffmann and Mackenzie and the Gabriola Health Care Society


The components of this Memorandum of Understanding were discussed at meetings on Gabriola on February 26 and April 4, 2008. Solutions for facilitating a sustainable primary health care for Gabriola are to be based upon the following criteria:

  • Meet the access and health outcome needs of patients (permanent residents, summer residents and visitors) of Gabriola
  • Support the health and wellbeing of the family physicians
  • Use appropriate facts and an evidence based approach
  • Provide a potential model for other comparable rural communities
  • Take a population based approach
  • Be open and transparent


The 2006 census population figure for Gabriola is over 4,000 people; however, RCMP and Canada Post both provide a current estimate over 5,000 permanent residents and summertime population of 7,500. The Gabriola Health Care Society, Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Ministry of Health are committed to supply information and data to inform the public planning process.

Agreed Upon Actions

1. Family Practitioner for BC (FPs4BC) position for Gabriola. VIHA will facilitate and work with the physicians and the Society on the recruitment process for a family physician to fill this position, including any specific criteria. The program offers up to $100,000 for the new physician in the form of $2,000 per month for 26 weeks; up to $40,000 for student loan forgiveness and up to $40,000 to set up a practice or to join an existing practice. The maximum of $100,000 is obtained through the General Practice Services Committee – a Ministry of Health/British Columbia Medical Association committee. This position is only available to those MD's who have graduated in the last ten years.

Action: VIHA/GHCS/Family physicians: Initiated immediately

2. The physicians of Gabriola will, within the next 20 days, provide information for the public planning process and to the MOH/VIHA on the following:

  • Practice hours of all physicians – including any out of hour coverage, to provide the best access possible for people on Gabriola Island to the benefits of Primary Health Care. Hours of work are to be consistent with the needs of the physicians for their health and wellbeing.
  • Identify specific locum needs including dates, location, and population/practice to be covered
  • Prepare a brief information sheet for locums and new physician applicants describing family practice on Gabriola and its attributes

To enable the physicians to complete this work in such a short time frame $20,000 will be provided by the MOH. The physicians or GHCS are to provide the MOH and VIHA with family practice hours on Gabriola, expected changes to physician supply, specific locum requirements, date of billing tutorial and a copy of the information sheet to be provided to prospective physicians coming to Gabriola.and a copy of any press release(s) related to this initiative.

Action: Physicians of Gabriola

3. A planning process for Gabriola initiated between April and July 2008. Fifty thousand ($50,000) will be granted by the Ministry of Health to Gabriola Health Care Society to support the planning process. The following criteria have to be met:

  • Open invitation to residents to be involved in a planning process that utilizes methods such as surveys or town hall meetings
  • Open invitation to all Gabriola physicians with patients on Gabriola
  • Other health care providers from ambulance service, home and community care for example to be involved in the planning process
  • Representatives from both VIHA and the MOH need to be at any public planning process
  • Working hours for physicians are sustainable and support and maintain the health and wellbeing of the physicians
  • Plan must be based upon: population based data, evidence, resident and provider experience (the MOH and VIHA will supply relevant data)
  • MOH will provide examples of successful experiences from comparable communities to GHCS and the plan be informed by those experiences (MOH will consult with the parties to this MOU and based upon that input organize relevant guest speakers.)
  • Plan benefits Gabriola by building upon the current investments and programs in primary health care and physician remuneration
  • Plan to include indicators important to the residents and providers on Gabriola to measure progress and success
  • It is suggested a facilitator would be helpful for the planning process (MOH will consult with the parties to this MOU and based upon that input organize a facilitator – expenses etc. to be paid by MOH)
  • The agreed upon plan to be submitted to MOH and VIHA before August 1, 2008.

Action: MOH / VIHA / GHCS / Physicians / other health professionals / residents

4. MOCAP review results will be communicated in a clear transparent manner by VIHA as soon as they are decided. Gabriola will be treated equitably in the allocation of MOCAP funds and other comparable programs.

Action: VIHA

5. MOH/VIHA will follow up and advise the group before April 15th on the status of the Appeal to Rural Initiatives.

Update, April 8, 2008: Rural Isolation allowance is available to communities served by fewer than four physicians, not receiving MOCAP. At this time, therefore with two full-time and three part-time physicians Gabriola is not eligible.

Action completed

6. The MOH will address the high amount of “held” billings by MSP, dating back to May of 2007. In addition, identify any continuing medical educational needs for physicians or support clinicians.

Action: MOH, VIHA

7. VIHA will check and advise on remuneration for stocking of the ETR room to ensure consistency with other communities.

Action: VIHA

8. Other programs and resources. VIHA will identify other programs and resources that can be used to support primary health care on Gabriola Island.

Action VIHA

Time frame of MOU: March 2008 – June 2008



Valerie Tregillus

Executive Director, Primary Health Care

Ministry of Health


Dr. Owen Heisler


Vancouver Island Health Authority


Lawrence Spero

Gabriola Health care Society


Dr. Francois Bosman

Family Physician


Dr. Geoff. Harding

Family Physician


Dr. Daile Hoffmann

Family Physician


Dr. Jim Mackenzie

Family Physician

Return to the top of the page