10/29/2014 02:30 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST

B.C.'s 10,000 doctors, government reach tentative five-year agreement

VICTORIA - A tentative five-year contract agreement has been reached between British Columbia's 10,000 doctors and the provincial government.

Few specifics of the proposed contract are being provided, but the government says the deal that is expected to be ratified in early December is in line with its bargaining mandate and addresses key health-care issues.

Health Minister Terry Lake says the province has worked hard over the past year with doctors to collaborate on strategies that improve services for patients and the current agreement continues that work.

Funding from the deal will target improving access to primary care, increased services in rural and remote communities and an ongoing plan to recruit and retain family doctors and specialists.

Doctors of BC president Dr. Bill Cavers says the deal provides funding to improve services for patients and to cover rising overhead costs for physicians.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the long-term agreement helps the government manage health-care costs while continuing to achieve better health outcomes for patients.