Semiahmoo Peninsula doctors are encouraging patients to get the 'right care in the right place' this holiday season – and that isn't necessarily Peace Arch Hospital's ER.

White Rock and South Surrey doctors urge ER rethink

Routine visits over Christmas may be best helped at a family doctor's office or walk-in clinic, patients told.

Is your trip to the emergency room really necessary?

The White Rock South Surrey Division of Family Practice is launching a campaign to encourage people to avoid going to Peace Arch Hospital’s ER this holiday season by getting the “right care” at the “right place”.

Last year, over the Christmas holidays, people were waiting up to six hours in the ER for help, but the division’s physician lead, Dr. Grace Park, said many such situations can be avoided.

By educating the public on increased options for primary health care, less-urgent cases can be directed to more appropriate treatment venues, she said.

“There are (urgent) cases that need to be in hospital, of course,” Park said. “I think the message is that if we want the ER to be there for us when we really need it, we want to make sure that it’s being used well.”

For someone needing medical help over the holidays – particularly for an ongoing condition – a call to a family doctor might be the best first step, Park suggested.

As a result of the division’s ‘GP For Me’ initiative, there has been an increase in the number of family doctors in the area – and the number of patients registered with them – and a majority of area GPs have made adjustments to their schedules to be able to fit in patients on an urgent basis during the holidays, she noted.

In addition, the 811 HealthLink BC line offers a 24-hour service with nurses and other health-care professionals who can evaluate symptoms and advise callers on the best help available to them. That might include recommending a visit to the ER, but might offer alternatives, she said.

She also recommended checking the website, Medimap.ca, which not only identifies walk-in clinics but estimates wait times.

If the need is for something as simple as a renewed prescription, Park said, pharmacists can fax requests to family doctors and may be authorized to provide a limited amount of an ongoing prescription to tide patients over.

“The family doctor is usually the best person to treat a patient and give them the right continuity of care,” Park said. “Being in hospital, you’re often exposed to sick people – it’s better to stay away, for seniors in particular, who are often compromised or can succumb to hospital infections.”

Park said that past shortages of doctors in the community have led to a perception that their help is not an option in the short- term, but this has changed.

 

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Former Cloverdale church elder will be tried in Supreme Court on sexual assault charges

Preliminary inquiry for Brian Batke case set for February 2020

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read

l -->