Clinic closure leaves Sidney with one walk-in option

Clinic closure leaves Sidney with one walk-in option

The impending closure of one of the two remaining walk-in clinics in Sidney has patients upset and wondering what impact the closure will have on their ability to access medical care.

Associated Physicians, a clinic that operated with three doctors with their own practices, had also offered a walk-in portion to their practice. Those doctors will be merging with Ocean Pier Medical at the end of August and will cease to see walk-in patients.

The move comes on the heels of the retirement of three other family physicians in Sidney over the past year, which again left scores of patients without a family doctor and left with little choice but to use a walk-in clinic for care.

The closure of the Associated Physicians Walk-in will leave the last remaining walk-in service at Peninsula Medical feeling even more overwhelmed.

According to the office manager at Peninsula Medical, the clinic regularly has patients waiting “in droves” for the clinic to open and, by 8:30 a.m. they are booking walk -in appointments for late in the afternoon. Some may not be seen that day and will have to try again the following day.

But, according to Dr. Andrea Lewis of Peninsula Medical, the situation regarding walk-in services is just a symptom of a far greater need to fundamentally change the way that medical care is delivered.

“We still operate a walk-in clinic portion of our practice, but we’ve been working very hard to change the way services are delivered to make the best use of the family practitioners in the community (and reduce the need for walk-ins),” said Lewis.

“We can graduate more doctors, of course, but there is no way of knowing if those doctors will choose to go into a traditional role as a family practitioner within a traditional office setting.” There are a lot of more attractive alternatives available for them working in hospitals, walk-in clinics, O.R. assists and elsewhere.

She said that, in order to make family practice more attractive, there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way care is provided and that family doctors need to be part of a team approach to the provision of care.

That’s why the Ministry of Health has committed to not only provide funding for up to 200 new general practitioners to work in team-based care but also has invested $115 million to fund 200 additional nurse-practitioners across the province.

According to Lewis, her clinic has been working toward the team based care model for a decade and will continue to move in that direction.

“In the team based model a patient will make an appointment and will perhaps first see a nurse-practitioner with expertise in primary care. They may have their blood pressure measured, for example, and have a discussion with the nurse about what the problems may be and some options for care. The doctor can then see that patient for the last five minutes to go over the care plan and provide any addition care that their unique skill sets can contribute,” explained Lewis.

“Or, instead of a nurse, the patient may have questions about their medication and will first see the pharmacist or perhaps they need to speak to a counsellor. Doctors have a skill set that can be best utilized in otter areas, freeing them to see more patients within that team based model as well as access to supports in diagnosis and in difficult cases.”

Lewis said that, by utilizing this model, her clinic at Peninsula Medical have been able to attract four new family physicians in the past two years, and hope to attract even more in the coming year.

“The old model is just not sustainable. Doctors go into family practice because they want to help patients and the community but with the traditional model of delivery of care, that was becoming ever more difficult,” she said.

“We want to be able to deliver a good level of care to the community while still allowing our physicians with the quality of life that they need in order to do their job. The team based model lets us do that.”

 

Clinic closure leaves Sidney with one walk-in option

Just Posted

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

A pub patio in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patio and picnic dining could mean a free meal for Greater Victoria patrons

Local celebrities pick up the tab with latest Greater Victoria chamber contest

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) Saturday announced a COVID-19 exposure at Oak Bay High School. (Black Press Media File).
Oak Bay High School subject of COVID-19 exposure

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) said possible exposure happened June 9-10

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read