US healthcare system NorthBay Health has announced a significant $250m investment to create a new ambulatory care network strategy (ANS).  

This multi-year strategy aims to address the shortage of primary care providers in California and improve access to healthcare services in the region. 

NorthBay cited the California Healthcare Foundation’s findings, which show that approximately one-third of the population in California resides in areas with a primary care provider shortage.  

As part of this ANS, NorthBay plans to establish six to ten primary care clinics within the surrounding neighbourhoods by 2030, ensuring that every resident is within a 15-minute radius of essential healthcare services. 

The expansion plan also includes the development of speciality hubs within 30 minutes of every resident, broadening the scope of NorthBay’s ancillary services.  

These hubs will provide advanced imaging, pharmacies, and laboratories, with an emphasis on promoting health and wellness within the community. 

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The strategic growth of NorthBay’s ambulatory network is set to streamline the patient care experience by reducing travel and wait times, as well as the duration between appointments.  

The introduction of new neighbourhood clinics is projected to increase primary care visits by over 200,000 and shorten the average wait for primary care and speciality care appointments to seven and 14 days, respectively. 

Beyond enhancing healthcare accessibility, the ANS initiative is expected to rejuvenate the North Bay region’s economy by attracting a skilled workforce.  

By 2030, NorthBay anticipates the addition of 90 speciality providers, as well as 45 new primary care providers. 

The healthcare system is also planning to strengthen its position by fostering strategic partnerships and community health and wellness initiatives while upholding safety and quality standards. 

NorthBay Health CEO Mark Behl said: “Today, marks a new chapter for NorthBay Health as we work towards becoming the healthcare provider of choice for Solano County and the broader North Bay region. To do that, we are significantly investing in bringing the quality, accessible, and convenient, primary and outpatient medical services that our patients need even closer to home.”