Another medical clinic in Greater Victoria closes

The Cook and Quadra Medical Clinic will close in June, displacing around 3,000 patients.

Jennifer Bailey has unwillingly joined thousands of other patients in the Capital Region who have lost their family doctor and are scrambling to find another.

Bailey recently learned that the Cook and Quadra Medical Clinic building in Saanich where she, her husband and two daughters, ages nine and 14, receive care has been sold and is scheduled to close on June 10.

This is the latest in a series of clinic closures. The Cook Street Village Medical Clinic closed last week, and the Eagle Creek Walk-in Medical Clinic in View Royal and the Colwood Medical Treatment Center in Colwood are due to close today.

“We’re giving so much taxpayer money to the healthcare system and the healthcare system is imploding,” Bailey said.

Bailey, a teacher, knew the medical clinic at 3461 Cook Street was for sale and dreaded the day the sale would materialize.

She said it’s nerve-wracking to think of running between walk-in clinics and urgent and primary care centers to get care.

“It’s a scary feeling knowing we’re not going to have a GP with two young girls – we’re now at the mercy of all the walk-ins,” said Bailey, who was a patient of Dr Peter T. Vizsolyi for about seven years.

“I’ve never had a family doctor in my life. »

In a letter to patients, Vizsolyi said he always planned to find a replacement and retire with the sale of the building, but was unable to find anyone to take over. Succession. Vizsolyi is one of five doctors at the clinic, but four work part-time, which equates to about 2.5 full-time positions.

About 3,000 patients could be displaced by the closure.

Vizsolyi told patients he planned to move to the Burnside Medical Clinic at 101 Burnside Rd. West until at least October to continue the search for his replacement, or at the very least give his patients’ records a new home. patients.

No details were available on what other doctors will do.

Records of patients who have used the Cook and Quadra Clinic as a walk-in clinic will also go to the Burnside Clinic, its medical director, Dr Ian Bridger, said. “[They] will be available from there for transfer to anyone who finds a GP, but with the current shortage of walk-in doctors, unfortunately we are unable to offer all of these people walk-in care guaranteed,” he said.

In an interview on Wednesday, Vizsolyi, 66, said it was hard to imagine that when he started his practice billing numbers were limited to ensure there weren’t too many doctors in the area, and now doctors who bought practices “can’t give them a way.”

“It’s very frustrating to see this at the end of your career,” Vizsolyi said. ” I do not think so [the government] understand how serious the situation is. I think they have to do something quite drastic.

Physicians in British Columbia and the province are negotiating alternative payment models to attract more physicians to work as family physicians. Some doctors like the traditional fee-for-service model, but many new doctors want to work in health authority-owned clinics and be paid on contract or receive a salary.

Vizsolyi said today’s medical graduates have likely spent an extra three to four years studying and are returning to Victoria with significant student debt, facing high residential and business prices and may take care of young families. For these reasons, they are unable or unwilling to assume the overhead costs of a family practice.

Vizsolyi said that until long-term solutions to support primary care or revamped payment models are found, the government could come up with short-term solutions, such as $100,000 incentives or money for doctors’ overhead costs in their first year of practice.

“And then maybe it wouldn’t be so risky for them.”

Last week, British Columbia Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced that British Columbia would spend $3.46 million on more doctors, nurses and other health care workers to keep five South Island walk-in clinics open: Esquimalt Medical Clinic, West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke, West Saanich Medical Clinic and Shoreline Medical Clinics in Brentwood Bay and Sidney.

Since 2017, the province has also established 27 urgent and primary care centers.

It is estimated that between 750,000 and 900,000 British Columbians do not have a family doctor, including 100,000 in the south of the island.

As for the Cook and Quadra Medical Clinic building, a leaflet sent to neighbors says Holland Planning Innovations, a management and development planning company in Victoria, and client Gill Developments, are in the “design stage” for a new building of four to six floors. multi-family residential project on the property, with commercial spaces on the ground floor.

He said he would aim to have a medical clinic in the building.

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