Abstract

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy / Politiques de Santé, Volume 5, Number 3.]  

The purpose of this study was to examine factors identified by patients as relevant to health human resources (HHR) planning for primary healthcare (PHC). Eleven focus groups were conducted in British Columbia and a thematic analysis was undertaken, informed by a needs-based HHR planning framework. Three themes emerged: (a) the importance of geographic context, (b) change management at the practice level and (c) the need for choices and changes in delivery of PHC. Findings suggest that more attention could be focused on overcoming geographic barriers to providing services, change management within office-based practices, and providing support structures that allow primary care providers to work closer to their full scope of practice. That these factors align with many strategic directions set out by government and planners signals the readiness for change in how PHC is delivered and HHR planned.