Local doctors have noticed that during the COVID-19 pandemic some patients have not been checking in with their family doctor, and not keeping on top of their medical care.
The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice is working with family physicians to ensure that patients know how best to access care during the pandemic.
“We recognize that this has been a challenging time for many people, and family doctors can be a support, particularly for people with ongoing chronic conditions that should be monitored,” the doctor’s group said in a press release this week. “Some people may not be sure whether their doctor is available or how they should best connect with them in the event they will be receiving care in person or by telephone/telehealth.”
“It’s very important to continue seeing your family doctor for ongoing care, especially if you have long-term or chronic conditions,” says Dr. Matthew Chow, president of Doctors of BC. “Neglecting your treatment or missing medication doses will cause more problems down the road. It’s important you see your family doctor because they know you best and understand your medical history and needs.” For seniors living at home, those with disabilities, or people considering themselves to be at high-risk, it is especially important that they contact their doctor for advice if they have not recently connected.
To help address this need, the new one-stop online directory (www.pathwaysmedicalcare.ca) has been created for British Columbians to easily find up-to-date information on how their doctor is providing virtual and in-person care, how to go about making an appointment, and see other services their doctor may provide. Approximately 70 per cent of B.C. family doctors who provide longitudinal care to their patients are now listed in the directory, with more doctors continuing to be added.
Pathways is a non-profit organization supported by Doctors of BC and the British Columbia Ministry of Health through the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC).
The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice is working with family physicians to ensure that patients know how best to access care during the pandemic. All family practice clinics are still offering care to patients in communities across the East Kootenay region. While most care is being done by telephone or video, if you need to be seen in person, your family doctor can make those arrangements.
Across the East Kootenay region, clinics are providing virtual care for patients during regular office hours. Patients will be seen in person only if necessary. To make an appointment, call your family doctor’s office directly for their options and to set up an appointment:
• Associate Medical Clinic (250-426-4231)
• Fisher Peak Family Practice (778-517-3701)
• F.W. Green Medical Clinic (778-517-8208)
• Tamarack Medical Clinic (250-426-7724)
• Ktunaxa Health Clinic (250-420-2700)
• Blue Heron Medical Clinic (250-428-7768)
• Dr. Daile Hoffman Clinic (250-428-5381)
• Family Practice Associates Clinic (250-428-9371)
• Summit Medical Clinic (250-428-8873)
• Elkford Health Centre (250-865-2215)
• Leroux Medical Clinic (250-423-6404)
• Rocky Mountain Health Centre (250-423-4718)
• Sparling East Medical Centre (250-423-4442)
• Golden Medical Clinic (250-344-2211)
• Invermere Medical Clinic (250-342-9206)
• Chisel Peak Medical Clinic (250-341-6900)
• Kimberley Medical Clinic (250-427-4861)
• Sparwood Primary Health Care (250-425-6212)
For Patients without a Family Doctor in the East Kootenay:
• Cranbrook Virtual Walk-In Clinic for patients without a family doctor. This is a temporary service. To book: EK Division of Family Practice website https://divisionsbc.ca/east-kootenay/virtual-walk-in-clinic or by calling 250-426-4890 and a reception person will answer your call during hours of operation – Tuesdays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. If an in-person visit is needed, the physician can make arrangements, or you will be directed to the Emergency Department at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
• Creston Virtual Clinic for patients without a family doctor can be accessed by calling 1-855-411-1630 for a telephone appointment with a physician. Currently the virtual clinic for Creston is operating from 1:00pm to 5:00pm Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. This is also a temporary service.
• First Nations patients without a family doctor can call the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program at 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment. Medical Office Assistants are available to help you seven days a week from 08:30am to 4:30pm.
If you need non-emergency health information and advice you can call 8-1-1 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca 24 hours a day.
As we continue to adapt our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, please ensure you and your loved ones are keeping on top of your medical care.