Since 2010

Walk-in clinic closures ignite petition demanding more doctors in B.C.

Since 2010, 45 clinics have closed in B.C., and 290 vacancies remain unfilled in the province, Walk-in Clinics Association of BC says.




A new petition is calling on the province to recruit more doctors into walk-in clinics and reverse the shortage that’s left thousands of British Columbians without access to a family doctor.

The petition, posted on change.org and on the Walk-In Clinics of B.C. Association website, has aimed for 300,000 signatures – the estimated number of B.C. residents who don’t have a family doctor, said Mike McLoughlin, the association’s director.

Since 2010, he said 45 clinics have closed across B.C.

“In the past year, two clinics have closed in Victoria, two in Kelowna, two in Vernon and the last walk-in clinic on the north shore in Kamloops, NorKam Health, stopped seeing walk-in patients also last Friday.”

RELATED: G.P. shortage affects West Shore clinics

The petition is also calling on the province to lift the “daily volume limits,” that restricts family doctors to a capped number of patients they can see in a day before doctors can only bill for half the amount. Once a doctor has seen 65 patients, they can’t bill at all.

“It just shouldn’t be there, it isn’t there in any other provinces in Canada,” McLoughlin said. “It’s not about whether or not a physician can see 50 patients a day, it’s that by arbitrarily setting at that number of 50, you’re limiting that access.”

The petition follows years of the association advocating for more family doctors, McLoughlin said, but the shortage has “just gotten worse.”

RELATED: No easy fix for doctor shortage

He noted the government is training new doctors and recruiting others to B.C., but the supply is not keeping up with the demand.

He said 290 family doctor positions remain vacant in clinics.

“You’re going to see more people at emergency… and a lot more people lined up outside clinics,” he said.

RELATED: Overcrowding not unique to Abbotsford hospital: union

The group will be formally launching the petition Friday in Victoria, and the petition has been sent to MLAs across the province as well as Health Minister Terry Lake.

It will be available to sign in all 300 clinics in the association’s directory.

With files from Vernon Morning Star.


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Trail RCMP seeking info on van near Fruitvale school

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Trail gears up to tackle teardown

Demolition of the Union Hotel in downtown Trail and property remediation will be ongoing this year

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read