Let’s consider this scenario. You suffer from a sore throat. Though it is really bad, you are able to manage it with some warm tea and lozenges. But, even while you may have everything under control, there is a feeling of uncertainty. You worry you might have strep, and as a result, might need antibiotics. So you decide to go to your primary care clinic in Calgary. But the problem is that your primary care doctor is booked. And making an appointment on the spot with another doctor will have you waiting in line for hours.
In such a situation, a doctor-in-a-box, or as others love to call them, a walk-in medical clinic, will work best. You will pay a small fee and get your service fast. Walk-in clinics are growing in number and are efficient. However, most primary care physicians warn patients against them. Governments, on the other hand, believe that walk-in clinics are a necessity. So what should you do? Do you avoid seeking treatment at a walk-in medical clinic in Calgary?
Below is a simple guide to help you determine when to receive treatment in these clinics.
For less serious conditions and symptoms, the quality of care you receive at the retail clinics matches that of traditional hospitals and clinics. For a sore throat, poison ivy and the like, it is okay to get treatment at these clinics. However, for fainting spells, chest pain and other serious symptoms and conditions, it is not such a great idea.
If you are a relatively healthy individual, a walk-in clinic will work for you. This is assuming you do not have a complicated medical history involving conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and emphysema. For these, you need to have your doctor have a look at you. Traditional hospitals are also equipped to evaluate your symptoms and determine any relationship or link to other health problems with ease.
The clinic you decide to get treatment from should clearly state its scope of treatment and services offered. The clinic has to know what it can handle and what it cannot. If the retail clinic cannot provide you with this information, you are better off seeking treatment elsewhere.
In as much as your primary care clinic in Calgary is fully booked, before you seek treatment at a walk-in clinic, you should inform your physician. He/she will advise you if it is wise or if the situation is too sensitive to be handled in a walk-in clinic.
While at a walk-in clinic, you should not accept referrals to other specialists. If the health professional handling your case thinks you need more advanced care, he/she should refer you back to your primary caregiver. Seeking treatment from another clinician could be a disaster waiting to happen.
You should never use the walk-in clinic to manage long-term chronic diseases. In the event that you need to have your blood sugar levels lowered, or even your blood pressure managed to normal levels, you should get in touch with your primary care doctor.
It is because a conventional primary care clinic in Calgary cannot always provide timely care to patients that walk-in clinics are increasing exponentially. But, be that as it may, before you seek treatment at these establishments, remember the above tips.