People have been calling PAM to get a GP. Now they’ll go online to register.

Finding a GP with the help of PAM shifts to online focus

Call volumes shift service from calling to self-registration online

Thousands seeking a family doctor in the Eastern Fraser Valley have called “PAM” for help.

PAM, or Patient Attachment Mechanism was a service set up three years ago to “match” unattached patients to family doctors and nurse practitioners from Chilliwack, to Agassiz-Harrison, and Hope, by Chilliwack Divison of Family Practice.

“Due to increasingly high call volumes over the past year, the phone service used for (PAM) registration has evolved to better serve the callers,” according to a release from the Division.

The emphasis is shifting from calling, to self-registration online.

The new online registration takes a minute or two. A list of health care options to try while waiting for patient “attachment” is fired off as an email.

But it’s still a waitlist they’re working with. For those living in Hope and the Fraser Canyon, they can begin the process of attachment within weeks. But for those in Chilliwack and Agassiz-Harrison, it can still take up to five months to find a family doctor or nurse practitioner at this point.

People who sign up get a call as soon as there’s an opening, or “capacity” for patient attachment.

“The Patient Attachment Mechanism is working to create one access point for people who do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, and are looking for one,” said Katrina Bepple, Chilliwack Divison of Family Practice executive director.

PAM was created specifically because of reports of many “orphaned” patients seeking a GP.

“Websites had outdated lists of doctors accepting, so people would have to call multiple clinics only to hear they didn’t have the capacity to take on more patients,” said Bepple.

Although PAM is a waitlist, meaning even though they can’t necessarily help people immediately, they have been successful in attaching more than 3,600 people to medical practitioners since 2014.

While people are still waiting, they can log on to www.medimap.ca for the closest walk-in clinics and the corresponding wait-times.

Unattached patients are asked “not to reapply” online if they have previously registered by leaving a phone message, as the lists will be combined and duplicates may slow down the process.

For anyone without online access, the phone system is still available. Call 604-795-0034 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register online at https://www.divisionsbc.ca/chilliwack/pam

Just Posted

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read