Maintaining and storing your medical chart takes considerable physician time. When you joined the practice we spent time documenting your medical and family history. We maintain detailed patient summaries in your chart and keep this up to date. We collect reports from all other practitioners you see, tests that are done and we are required by law to store this information for at least 16 years after you leave the practice.
When a patient transfers to another clinic, we need to review your chart and your current medical issues, including your preventive health interactions such as PAPs, mammograms, colon cancer screening, immunization and cholesterol and chronic disease testing. In order to transfer your file, we need to note and forward all pertinent information to your new doctor. Unfortunately, none of this work is compensated by the medical services plan and therefore we need charge privately for this service.
In the past 30 years there have been major changes in family practice. In the past, people generally had their own family doctor who managed all of their medical concerns. With the tremendous growth of walk in clinics we have seen a significant change in the way patients access care. We sometimes hear from patients that they go to walk in clinics for their “quick” items, but attend our office for complicated problems. This creates a lack of continuity of care and the current payment system is not set up to differentiate between simple and complicated care.
Continuity of care is extremely important and cost efficient. All the doctors in our office have access to your electronic medical record. Because we know your medical and family histories, we often have much more insight into the likely causes of a symptom than a physician at a walk-in clinic. This leads to less duplication of tests and less waste of precious health care dollars.
In an effort to provide continuity of care, family doctors have traditionally provided many services for which they are not paid. These free services are rarely provided by physicians in a walk in clinic setting.
- Keeping track of all your ongoing health issues. If you are seen in emergency, by a specialist or another doctor at our clinic, we make a point of keeping track of this and following up on ongoing concerns.
- Communicating information from any of your interactions with the health care system (specialists, hospital visits, pharmacists, etc.) to you and to other practitioners
- Maintaining and storing your medical chart . We collect reports from all other practitioners you see, tests that are done and your previous physicians. We maintain a comprehensive medical history and detailed patient summaries in your chart and keep this up to date. We are responsible to review and act on the information that is sent to us and to store it for at least 16 years after you leave the practice.
- Organizing your preventive health care. This includes keeping track of all the recommended preventive health interventions including PAPs, mammograms, colon cancer screening, immunization and cholesterol and diabetes testing.
- Providing emergency care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – there is always a doctor on call at any time for urgent problems. Although the government has funded nurse line and on-call pay for specialists, we do not get paid for being on call!
- Participating in out of office care. All of our doctors see patients in hospitals, at home and in nursing homes.
- Completion of forms. The volume of forms to be completed has increased exponentially in the last decade.
- Dealing with your medical questions by phone. In a family practice we field dozens of phone calls each day with medical questions. We either answer the calls ourselves or provide an answer to your question to our staff, who then pass the information on to you. We will ask you to come into the office if we feel that we need to see you to answer the question.
Family doctors and walk in clinic physicians are paid the same fee per visit regardless of how many problems are addressed in the visit or how much time you spend with the physician. What has happened is that the complexity of care provided in each visit to a family physician has increased considerably. As a result of this vast differential of pay for the same number of hours of work, there has been a mass exodus of family doctors providing full service care and huge growth in the number of walk in clinics. Many patients now find themselves without a family physician at all. When full service family doctors retire, they are usually unable to find someone to replace them.
Selectively visiting walk-in clinics when it is convenient has made traditional family practice virtually unsustainable in an urban setting. We ask our patients to make a choice. For those individuals where the convenience of walk in clinic care outweighs the benefits of continuity of care provided in our traditional family practice, we ask that you transfer all of your care to the walk in clinic, so that we can give your space in our practice to one of the many patients on our waiting list.
Continuity of care is extremely important and cost efficient. Because we know our patients well and are familiar with their past and family medical histories, we often have much more insight into the likely causes of a symptom. Seeing physicians at walk-in clinics leads to the duplication of tests and wastes precious health care dollars.
Even when you see a different physician at our practice, they have access to your complete medical file and history.
We are asking our patients to make a choice. For those individuals where the convenience of walk-in-clinic care outweighs the benefits of continuity of care provided in our traditional family practice, we ask that you transfer all of your care to the walk in clinic so that we can give your space in our practice to one of the many patients on our waiting list.
Please review & sign the patient contract (here)
We ask patients to book regular appointments with their primary family doctor. Please call the office 604-261-8177 during office hours 9:00 – 5:00 pm on weekdays. We are closed from 12-1 for lunch.
Please notify us if you wish to book a pap smear, physical exam, baby or child check-up or prenatal visit. Regular appointments are 10 to 15 minutes, with longer appointments of up to 30 minutes reserved for complete physicals, complex medical.
We are able to deal with 1 or 2 problems thoroughly at each office visit. More problems may require another appointment. Please let the doctor know at the beginning of your visit, how many concerns you hope to address and we will do our best to accommodate you as the time allows.
Please tell us if you need to complete a form, Forms including for school, work, travel, or insurance (including disability) are not covered by MSP and you will be charged a private fee.
We do our best to fit our patients in for all urgent problems. You will be fit in with your own doctor whenever possible but if they are not available one of the other doctors at the clinic will see you. Urgent appointments are usually squeezed into the schedule and we will only be able to address your urgent concern. This provides the best continuity of care for you and your family.
Continuity of care is extremely important for you to receive the best medical care and advice. Because your doctor knows you well and is familiar with your past and family medical histories, they often have much more insight into the likely causes of a symptom than a walk-in-clinic physician who is just meeting you for the first time. Being seen at a walk-in-clinic often leads to the unnecessary duplication of tests.
We require 24 hours cancellation notice for all appointments. If you do not cancel your appointment you will be billed a cancellation fee of $40 for regular appointments or $80 for check-ups, physical exams or longer appointments. After three ‘no shows’ we reserve the right not to schedule another appointment.
Please tell the staff when booking an appointment related to and ICBC or WCB claim. You will be asked to fill out a form for the first visit – you can find a copy of the ICBC form (here) or the WCB form (here). Please fill out the form and bring it with you to the appointment. If you are unable to do this, you can fill one out when you arrive for your appointment.
As physicians, we work hard to run our clinics on time – we know your time is important and we don’t like to keep you waiting. Sometimes we have an emergency we were not expecting – which causes us to run late. We thank you for your patience and understanding when this happens.
We also know that you appreciate it when we fit you or your children in to see us when you have an urgent problem.
Annual medical exams are not covered by MSP if you do not have a medical condition that requires a full exam.
Most healthy patients do not need a complete annual physical exam. Patients with some chronic health conditions, newly pregnant women as well as infants and preschool age children do require complete physical exams. Sometimes your doctor will recommend a physical exam as part of the investigation of new symptoms.
Physical exams for work, sports or camp are not covered by MSP.
If you are unsure if you need an exam, please book an appointment with your doctor to discuss. You can pay privately for a physical exam if you want one but do not meet the medical criteria. The fee for a physical exam is $100-190. This does not include the charges for any bloodwork or other tests that you request if they are not medically required.
You will be notified of any abnormal test results.
By registering for My E-health at the lab, you can now access your results on-line as quickly as we can http://www.myehealth.ca/
Normal results can be discussed at a subsequent office visit. If you are concerned about a test result, you are welcome to call the office to check if your result has arrived and book an appointment for follow-up.
- Bloodwork results are available in 1-4 days
- X-ray & ultrasound results are usually available in 1-2 days
- Pregnancy screening results can take 2-3 weeks
- Pap test results can take up to 6 weeks.
For your convenience, your doctor will renew your prescriptions by telephone, when it is medically appropriate to do so. The fee for this service is $30 and must be paid in advance.
Ask your pharmacy to fax the request to 604-261-9607. Please allow 24 hours for your prescription to be filled. If your doctor feels that a medical assessment is necessary, you will be asked to come in or you may be able to discuss your medication renewal in a telephone or video visit.
There are some services that are not covered by MSP. Fees are due at the time the service is provided. For your convenience we take Visa, Mastercard, debit, cash or cheques. Please make all cheques payable to Oakridge Medical Vancouver.
Doctor’s note $10- 20
Short medical form $25-45
Long medical form $50-100
Driver’s Exam & Form $100-190
Fitness Exams for Camp, School, Sports etc $75
Liquid Nitrogen for cosmetic reasons $35 & up
Treatment of skin tags $35 & up
Mole removal for cosmetic reasons $150
Transfer of medical records $30-50 per chart requested