EDITORIAL – Why is getting everyone together to talk about walk-in clinics such a tough concept to grasp?

Some short-term help is on the way for those in need of a doctor.

(ArmchairMayor file photo)

GETTING ALL the parties together in a public venue to talk about walk-in clinics — an idea I pitched recently in a column — is selling like crap cakes.

In other words, it’s not exactly going viral. I suggested that, unfortunately, walk-in healthcare clinics look like they’re here to stay. That’s not a good thing, but they’re becoming the new normal.

Some people don’t like acknowledging that; they think we should continue to push for family doctors for everyone. That, of course, would be ideal but does anyone really believe the provincial government is going to catch up on finding enough doctors for the 20,000 or 30,000 (or whatever the real number is) people in Kamloops alone without family physicians?

Multiply that by the rest of the province and you see the scope of the problem, and how foolish it was for then-health minister Kevin Falcon to promise a few years ago that the problem would be solved by 2015. Terry Lake, his successor, has never made that promise, though he keeps getting it thrown in his face.

So, he’s beefing up the non-GP-For-Me approach on the North Shore. But there are immense problems with the walk-in clinic model that must be addressed.

My humble suggestion was simply that healthcare customers — they’re the ones who stand out in the cold in lineups and so on — be brought into the discussion. One way of doing it, I suggested, is a public forum.

From some of the reaction I’ve been getting, I have the impression people are so angry about walk-in clinics they just don’t want to talk about it. And it’s been pointed out to me that walk-in clinics are currently operated by private-enterprise doctors, not Interior Health, so the health authority wouldn’t have a role to play in such a discussion.

I never intended that Interior Health should fix walk-in clinics. That’s a job for everyone. For one thing, we seem to be moving towards a public healthcare system in which walk-ins are going to play a bigger role. My suggestion was that all the involved parties be part of the discussion on how to make walk-in clinics better, including the minister, the health authority, politicians, clinic operators and the public.

Why is that so tough?

About Mel Rothenburger (5538 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – Why is getting everyone together to talk about walk-in clinics such a tough concept to grasp?

  1. My wife and I are in the middle of this BS health care.
    We do not have a family doctor, completely at the mersey of the video doctor from some part of the country, or walk-in/wait till next day clinic, or emergency.
    Did Trump get it right when he said Canada has second rate health care?

  2. Hilda-Wade Lehto’s comment re the parking foul-up:
    …was there till after 11:00… when she went to go back to the new parkade….. the door was locked ….she was told to go back to emergency and go out that door and walk around the outside of the hospital by herself in the dark to get to her car…what a friggin joke….she had been diagnoised with lung infection and sinus infection …she had a fever and felt like crap….and I called the hospital the next day and no one even cared about what I was complaining about….

    And poor John Matheson’s comment just indicates the CURRENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES of INTERIOR HEALTH (AUTHORITY??) Every person matters (small print on their logo).

  3. The only way to deal with the doctor shortage is to raise the pay of doctors. I know of three BCers who recently became doctors. Their debt is staggering. Alberta offers at least 10,000 per year more for a beginning doctors pay. Needless to say, they are working in Alberta.

  4. -“Well Done; Hear, Hear. A Topic Worth Exonerating From Public Purses Being Used To Cover Over 50% -Within The BC MSP System- The Cost of Health Care Already (and peoples therein, whom abuse, even, the use of hospital emergency rooms across the province!).” -Let’s Go Private…! Ah, Is _This_ An Answer?

    “Crap Cakes.,” Ha, Ha, Ha.

  5. The media should’ve done their job to hold them accountable and to ask tough questions long ago but they did not. Happy now?

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