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Last walk-in medical clinic in Nelson announces closure of service

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
June 6th, 2024

The city’s last walk-in medical clinic offering will be closing its doors in August to off-the-street patients.

Ancron Medical Centre announced last week it will be closing its Saturday and Sunday walk-in clinic with the last day being Aug. 25. The clinic has been providing episodic care for patients since 2010.

Episodic care is a single encounter with a patient focused on a present concern, identified medical condition or referred consultation, where neither the doctor nor patient have the expectation of an ongoing care relationship.

“The workload has become unsustainable for our family physicians to continue to provide episodic care for unattached patients in addition providing care to our own many family practice patients, along with doing hospital admissions, obstetrics, intrapartum, care for unattached patients admitted to the hospital and participating in the work of community health care committees,” the centre’s website read.

The move follows a decision on June 1 where Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic (KLMC)  — in operation since 1996 — announced it would no longer book appointments for any patients that have, “to date, never been seen at our clinic.”

The hybrid open access clinic model  — that has looked after unattached patients for 28 years — will be changing to a family practice only.

“Patients that are not attached to one of our providers, will no longer be able to book appointments at our clinic,” read a notice on the KLMC website. “As a result, we will now only be able to see those patients who are officially attached to one of our providers.”

The Nelson Medical Associates Clinic did not accept walk-ins.

There  is some work being done to revive the walk-in clinic format. The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice is still working toward the regional provision of episodic care access for all unattached patients.

“It is our understanding that good progress towards the establishment of an episodic care clinic for the region is being achieved,” the Ancron website explained.

 

Other sources

The Health Connect Registry is a region-wide patient registry in Kootenay Boundary for people who are looking for a physician or nurse practitioner.

People can register for the Health Connect Registry at kbhcr.ca or by calling 8-1-1.

Once registered, you will be contacted directly when a primary care provider is available.

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