Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Walk-in clinics

Yesterday we went to a walk-in clinic... Nothing serious, just the fall Igor had on Monday starting to hurt at night, so he decided to go yesterday to the doctor just in case. So, what do you need to know in case you need it?

He went to the closest walk-in clinic we could find to home, near the Davisville subway station, and once he was there (around 12pm) they told him that the walk-in would start at 5pm, so please, call before going so you know what to expect! No all the clinics open at 5, but you never know if yours is closed that day.

So he went back to the apartment and used the services of Telehealth Ontario which is a phone number you call anywhere in Ontario (1-866-797-0000 ) where a registered nurse will take your call and ask you a lot of questions trying to see what you have and give you advice on what to do next. The service is free (you don't need OHIP to use it) and can be made in english or french and they even have translator services in case you can't do it in either of those languages. They will let you know if you need to go to the emergency room, just go to a walk-in clinic or rest at home.

Igor called and got a receptionist telling him that all the nurses were busy and to leave a number so they could call him back. Less than 10 minutes later a nurse called him back and he was very impressed with the service he got, really really good! They gave him advice like taking acetominophen for the pain and use ice for 20 minutes every hour, and to go to a Walk-in clinic just in case. You can say that everyone knows to put ice and stuff like that, but you can use this service for anything health related (not in emergency please, use 911 in that case), they can help you with a newborn baby and diagnose a lot of things over the phone, so I'm really thankful to have a service like that.

At 5pm Igor was at the walk-in clinic (I joined him after work, like 5:30pm) and had a lot of people in front of him that decided to wait from 3pm :S So we had to wait 4 hours before he could see a doctor. Again, you shouldn't use this for emergencies, and although a lot of people would say that 4 hours is too long, I have waited more in Venezuela, so it's normal for me.

When it was his turn, we saw the doctor in a little room (I have pictures on my cellular phone if you want to see them) with a medical bed and almost nothing else; the doctor asked Igor about the pain, and after a quick look at his leg and the movements he could do, the doctor told him it looked like a pulled muscle and didn't need tests or x-rays at the moment, gave him a few samples of a muscle relaxer and sent him home. This morning? no pain in the leg, so we are happy with the results :)

If you are covered by OHIP, these walk-in clinics are free, if you are not (we'll be covered in 1 week!) then you have to pay $50 for the doctor to see you. We talked to Manulife (our insurance company) and they were great about it! They told Igor to go to the walk-in clinic and after that they just asked for the receipt and a little letter written by the doctor's office saying Igor was there and what he had, so they can make the refund.

So,
- If you have an emergency, please go to the hospital...
- If you want a general check, you should get a family doctor...
- If you think you need to see a doctor soon, but is not an emergency, use the walk-in clinic :)

9 comments:

Zhu said...

Since GP are extremely hard to find (we've never been able to find one... it's been 6 years!), walk-in-clinics are quite valuable. The waiting can be very long but doctors are as good as GP and it's great for daily life's little troubles.

Don't go to the ER for a 'small thing'... the wait is very very long. My friend had troubles during her pregnancy (also a newcomer, been there for 3 years and no GP as well) and she always had to wait 10-15 hrs to see a doctor. Not great considering her pregnancy was tough... (she actually ended up losing the baby).

Doctors are great in Canada and so is the health system. The problems are the long waiting lists for surgeries (especially routine ones...) and the lack of specialists and GP.

Aiglee said...

wow Zhu...Well, I already have a list of doctors I have to call to see if they are taking patients right now, because I have a few things that need constant follow up and a family doctor is my best bet. But like you said, walk-in clinics are there and I'm really thankful for them, def. ERs are not a place to go if you can live a few hours more to get to a family doctor.

Johnada said...

Wow, no GP for six years, crazy. You guys should try to have someone you know (maybe from work) refer you. My wife got referral from her boss, and we got right in with a general practitioner.

And we went to the ER when we first came and the GP is much better. I haven't been to a walk-in clinic, but I'm glad to hear they are a good option.

Aiglee said...

I'm definitely going to try and get a GP as soon as possible :0

Craig said...

The the US we have the same issues, but we are trying to come up with a soloution. The drug stores are getting into the walk-in clinic business. By operating a clinic out of a drug store, like Walgreens and CVS, you will be able to get the treatment you need and the medication as well. These clinics are operated by Take Care Health Clinic.

http://www.WalgreensClinic.org

Aiglee said...

Didn't know that! That's really good!!! I know Walgreens pharmacies, but didn't know they were trying to come up with a model of walk-in clinic, nice :)

henrylow said...

How To Make money with affiliate programs Today. Affiliate marketing is the easier and probably the most effective method to make money from the internet. It is basically, a kind of selling technique where potential buyers from your website are directed to the websites of sellers. For every click, the website owner gets a small commission.


www.onlineuniversalwork.com

generic cialis said...

I, of course, a newcomer to this blog, but the author does not agree

france pope said...

This is very good information a really nice blog. keep it up!!!

walk in clinic abington