Kootenay Boundary doctor offices open, call first

Viral transmission precautions in place

Dr. Stephanie Cameron is reassuring the public that Kootenay Boundary doctors are booking appointments by phone. (Submitted photo)

Doctors and nurse practitioners in the Kootenay Boundary want you to know they are still open for business.

Last week, the organization representing medical professionals serving the Kootenay Boundary said they were concerned patients are not booking appointments when they may need help, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many clinics have seen a drop in the number of appointments. The practitioners collectively stated they are worried that patients who have healthcare concerns may be unsure if they can still see their doctor in the midst of the COVID-19 situation.

“It’s important for patients to know that clinics are set up to provide telephone or video conference appointments, and when necessary are still doing in-person appointments,” said Dr. Stephanie Cameron, a family physician in Trail.

Dr. Cameron emphasizes the importance of “continuity of care”, which ensures patients are getting the quality care they need, over time, by the health care team that knows them best.

“Some patients may think clinics are closed, or some may be concerned about coming into the clinic for fear of catching the COVID-19 virus,” Dr. Cameron said. “… If patients need to be seen in person, we’re putting all the necessary precautions in place based on the provincial health officer’s guidelines,” she advised.

“We want to reassure patients that we are still here for them.”

A list of clinics in Kootenay Boundary, including walk-in clinic options for patients who don’t currently have a practitioner, can be found on the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice website.

On Saturday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, confirmed 29 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the number of active cases in B.C. to 461. So far, 704 people have recovered from the virus, representing 58 per cent of the 1,203 confirmed cases since February.

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