Doctors at Pemberton clinic call on employers to start paying for sick notes

Doctors at Pemberton clinic call on employers to start paying for sick notes

Woman posts photo of letter on Facebook she received when asking for medical note

Doctors at a medical clinic in Pemberton are handing out letters instead of sick notes, asking employers to stop requiring sick notes and wasting people’s time.

Local resident Becca Moriarty, 26, posted a photo of the letter to her Facebook page this week, after going in to get a sick note for her boss.

The letter says a policy requiring a sick note for missed time puts an “added burden” on the healthcare system, taking up resources that could be used on people are who actually ill.

“People seeking sick notes — who otherwise wouldn’t see a doctor — end up in physicians’ offices, walk-in clinics and emergency department waiting rooms,” it says. “There, they may spread germs to pregnant women, frail elderly people, cancer patients and babies — all of whom are vulnerable to communicable disease.”

It also says the doctors find it difficult to charge someone for a requirement from their employer, since sick notes aren’t insured by MSP, and gives the employer a warning: continue to require medical notes and be prepared to receive a $50 invoice for each one.

“As Canadian residents, we are lucky to have our healthcare system, but citizens’ inability to access the systems services in a timely fashion is a growing problem,” the letter says. “I hope you will consider changing your current absenteeism policy to help reduce the unnecessary burden on our health-care system and improve access for all British Columbians.”

When she handed the letter to her boss, she said the reaction was “complete confusion.”

Moriarty – who works in the food industry – added she sees both sides to the issue of sick notes.

“I understand the employer needs to know, but that comes down to: we’re adults, this isn’t school anymore, I don’t need a note from my mom saying I’m not going to be at school,” she said, adding she’d much rather be at work making money than sick at home.

A person who answered the phone at the clinic said the doctors do not wish to be interviewed.


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

Just Posted

It takes much more than having talent as a singer or musician to pull off a live performance people will remember, says Sooke resident Jason Parsons. (Pixabay.com)
Vancouver Islander writes the book on live performances

Jason Parsons’ new book unlocks the keys to establishing a presence on stage

VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine is turning 30 years old. (Image courtesy Chantelle Calitz)
Vancouver Island University’s literary magazine ‘Portal’ celebrates 30 years

Virtual launch featuring contributor readings took place April 30

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping to stage outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Members of A Cappella Plus rehearse for a ’60s-themed concert in 2019. This year the group is celebrating its 40th anniversary. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo’s A Cappella Plus chorus marks 40 years with short documentary

Film covers group’s history, features performance and behind-the-scenes video

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

Most Read