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

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

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read