PE Ledger

Walk-in clinics on P.E.I. are in high need due to doctor shortage

PEI

Key takeaways: 

  • June 20, the region’s patient registry had nearly 24,000 names.
  • Many seek treatment at walk-in clinics with almost 24,000 people on P.E.I. without a family doctor.

The hottest ticket on P.E.I. these days isn’t for a show or a sports event but to visit a physician at a walk-in clinic, particularly for the increasing number of people without a family doctor.

Summerside, local Rose Gallant, and her spouse woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the Sherwood Family Medical Centre walk-in clinic in Charlottetown at 6:30 a.m. — 90 minutes before the hospital opened. The pair was the first in the queue.

“You never know when the physician’s in Summerside, in the clinic. Whenever he feels like going, he takes his patients over you, so we come here,” she stated.

At least three physicians in Charlottetown lately declared they would close their practices, leaving almost 5,000 patients on the Island without a family doctor. This week, the region’s patient registry was updated to about 24,000.

And as the doctor shortage in P.E.I. continues to increase, so do the bars at walk-in clinics.

New cases, no doctors

Also read: Health P.E.I. preparing as monkeypox patients climb across Canada

At least three physicians in Charlottetown lately declared they would close their practices, leaving almost 5,000 patients on the Island without a family doctor

Hayden Smith said he sympathizes with the Islanders who have been without a family physician for multiple years.

He was in the queue with Gallant and only showed up because he saw himself among the thousands who had just lost a physician.

“This is a new experience for us; it’s a new fact,” he said.

But given the healthcare problems on the Island, he said it’s to be anticipated that wait times at walk-in clinics would be this long.

“It’s not the responsibility of the doctor or the staff; it’s just the crisis — the way it is on P.E.I. It’s a crisis,” he stated.

Source – cbc.ca

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