AARON DERFEL, Updated: January 27, 2020
Andrea Mendell, nursing an infected cut on her lower lip, arrived 20 minutes before the Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic opened its doors at 8 a.m. to make sure she wouldn’t have to wait too long to see a doctor.

But Mendell, a high school teacher from Côte-St-Luc, was stunned to discover that there were already 21 people ahead of her in line, with the first patient having arrived at 5:50 a.m. on a recent Wednesday.

Mendell is one of those patients who heeded the advice of Health Minister Danielle McCann: don’t go to a hospital emergency room unless you have a major problem. Knowing that her infected lower lip didn’t qualify as a major problem, Mendell turned instead to one of the winter clinics that McCann pledged would ease the burden on the province’s overcrowded ERs.

Yet at the same time that Mendell was waiting in the packed winter clinic on Marlowe Ave., the ER at the nearby Royal Victoria Hospital was filled to almost double its capacity, with five patients languishing on gurneys in its hallways.

This is precisely the scenario that the winter clinics were intended to avoid, prompting one ER doctor in the Laurentians to call them a fiasco. Other critics suggest that the failure of winter clinics to solve Quebec’s perennial ER crisis is a symptom of a much deeper dilemma: the chronic shortage of family doctors in Montreal as well as a lack of nurses in hospitals.

To read more, click on:
Quebec’s winter clinics far from the panacea promised by health minister.


Why are we letting corporate medicine take hold in Vancouver’s new urgent care centres?
Seymour Health received nearly $2 million from Vancouver Coastal Health to renovate their UPCC property. The health authority appears to have used public dollars to enhance a privately owned real estate asset.
Instead of inviting in these for-profit firms, why isn’t Vancouver Coastal Health running the UPCCs and other proposed health care services themselves or by partnering with community non-profits?
The health authority’s moves towards corporate health care delivery take us in the opposite direction of the impressive range of reforms taking place in BC’s public health care system. A swift change of policy is in order here.


Patients searching for family doctor at new Langford Urgent Primary Care Centre leave disappointed

There was confusion on opening day of a new urgent primary care facility on the West Shore Monday morning.

More than a dozen people waited in line before the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre opened its doors for the first time at 8 a.m.

But some of those people were frustrated to learn that they would not be able to find a new family doctor at the centre – at least for now.

Wilson said she was hoping to find a family doctor for her three-year-old grandson as well as herself.

“I had a brain tumour taken out a year ago June, and I’m getting older. I need care,” she said.

When it was announced early last week, the province said the new urgent primary care facility in Langford would better connect locals with health care providers.

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