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LETTER: Port Alberni needs another walk-in clinic to serve doctorless people

Newcomers challenged with finding a doctor willing to take on new patients

To the Editor,

There are approximately 20,000 people living in and around the City of Port Alberni, and there are at least 15 doctors in the city. There is one walk-in clinic for all of Port Alberni and I am told there are not enough doctors.

Many of those who come to the walk-in clinic are unable to see a doctor as the length of the clinic is quite short, ending at 1 p.m. I came about 10 minutes to 1 p.m. and only needed my prescriptions to be renewed. However, even for this I was unable to see a doctor.

Port Alberni has many senior citizens, and medical conditions for this age group are often more than those of younger people. Because there is only one walk-in clinic and its time length is quite short, it is certain that adequate examination and care for many seniors is not provided, though some no doubt are patients of the physicians in Port Alberni.

Given the number of physicians in this town, surely at least one more walk-in clinic could be organized? How could this reduce the income of all or many of the city’s doctors?

It is doubtful even an extra clinic would satisfactorily meet the medical needs of citizens, especially seniors, unable to find a permanent doctor. Nevertheless, it would reduce the lack of medical provision in the city. It is almost impossible to find a doctor taking in new patients in this town.

In Vancouver, at the Superstore location on Marine Drive, there is a walk-in clinic with up to 10 doctors available. It does not close its doors after two hours and it at least partially provides care for immediate and long-term medical concerns. Surely there are sufficient physicians in Port Alberni to organize even one more walk-in clinic?

Jon Adams,

Port Alberni