The Doctors' Satellite Medical Clinic is closing Nov. 1 due to a lack of doctors.

Walk-in closure causes concern

The Doctors' Satellite Medical Clinic on Vedder Road will be closing on Nov. 1 due to a doctor shortage.

The impending closure of a walk-in clinic located at Promontory and Vedder has some in the community concerned.

Rodney J. Philippson, 75, learned on Monday the Doctors’ Satellite Medical Clinic would be closing Nov. 1 due to a shortage of doctors.

Philippson, a Promontory resident, said for him it would be more inconvenient to travel to the next nearest walk-in clinic located on Stevenson Road, but for people without access to a vehicle, it could be detrimental.

“By losing that clinic there, we’re going to be in a situation of hardship,” he said. “This is an area that covers quite a radius of people. We’re losing some valuable services.”

A regular at the walk-in clinic, Philippson said it’s so busy, it’s “standing room only” every time he goes in.

“When there’s a need for something, okay, there’s a shortage of doctors, let’s address it, let’s get down and look at the problem,” Philippson said.

Ken Becotte, executive director of the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, agreed Chilliwack, like nearly every other community in Canada, does have a shortage of family physicians. And with Chilliwack’s aging demographic, that shortage is likely to continue, he said.

“Part of it is the supply and demand aspect,” Becotte said. “Over the next 10 years, there will be a lot more health issues.”

However, Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, a non-profit society representing Chilliwack’s general practitioners, is working to fill that gap.

For two years, the division has been partnering with Fraser Health to operate a primary care clinic in the hospital that’s staffed mostly by nurses. Any patient leaving the hospital, who doesn’t have a family physician is referred to the clinic, and cared for there until they’re able to get into a proper doctor’s office.

Currently the clinic has 300-400 patients.

The division also operates a seniors’ clinic two days a week for patients referred for early diagnosis of dementia in the same location staffed by GPs specializing in geriatrics.

The goal, said Becotte, is to better provide the community with the health care services it requires.

Earlier this year, the B.C. Ministry of Health and B.C. Medical Association announced a new GP for Me initiative, which aims to provide every person in B.C. with a family physician if wanted. The initiative is an investment of $100.5 million, of which $60.5 million will go to Divisions of Family Practice for research and the development of a community plan on how to improve primary care in their respective communities.

In Chilliwack, a community survey will be conducted by Chilliwack Division of Family Practice in the next week or so to determine how and where residents are accessing health care services.

For more information on the survey, visit the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @gp4me.

Just Posted

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read