Family doctors in Cranbrook and Kimberley are now available for telephone and video appointments. (Pixabay)

East Kootenay family doctors now available for telephone, video appointments

To book a virtual appointment, call your family’s medical clinic and staff will walk you through the process.

Family physicians across the East Kootenay region are now available for telephone and video care appointments.

On April 2, the province announced that B.C. health are workers would be gaining access to virtual health care options as many clinics were forced to close for all non-emergency appointments due to COVID-19.

READ MORE: B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

Megan Purcell, Executive Director of the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice explained that all family practice clinics are now offering virtual care in Cranbrook, Kimberley and across the East Kootenay region.

“Many people will not be dealing with medical issues because they believe family physicians have closed their offices,” Purcell explained in a press release. “Family physicians are providing care in a different way that allows people to connect with their own doctors from the safety of their home.”

This allows both doctors and patients to maintain physical distancing and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

“Although the virus is top of mind right now, people still need ongoing care and advice for acute or chronic conditions requiring treatment or medication. A lot of that medical care can be provided through telephone or video,” Purcell said.

For seniors living at home, those with disabilities, or those considering themselves to be high-risk, it is especially important that they contact their doctor for advice if they have not already done so.

To book an appointment, simply call the office of your family doctor and their office staff will walk you through how the visit will work, whether it’s by telephone or video.

READ MORE: Take COVID-19 seriously, says Cranbrook doctor

Purcell stressed the importance of people staying home and not going to the doctor’s office if they are in need of care.

“Always call in advance,” she said. “If a patient does need an in-person visit, the physician’s office will assist in setting that up, whether it is in their own office or a designated clinic.”

All family practice clinics in Cranbrook and Kimberley are providing virtual care for patients during regular office hours – primarily by telephone appointments. Patients will be seen in person only if necessary.

Clinics are open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends as well. Kimberley Medical Clinic and Tamarack Medical Clinic are open starting April 4 and 5 and will continue to be open over the Easter long weekend for urgent medical concerns and COVID-19 related concerns.

To make an appointment, call your family doctor’s office directly:

– Fisher Peak Medical Clinic: 778-517-3701

– F.W. Green Medical Clinic: 778-517-8208

– Tamarack Medical Clinic: 250-426-7724

– Associate Medical Clinic: 250-426-4231

– Kimberley Medical Clinic: 250-427-4861

For those without a family doctor, the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice is also working on setting up a virtual walk-in clinic. This will be a temporary clinic during the pandemic to care for patients and prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency department. More information on the virtual walk-in clinic will be available soon.

For a list of frequently asked questions on the new process for over the phone and virtual appointments, click here.

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