A walk-in clinic is handy if you do not have a primary care physician; sometimes, they are handy even when you have a primary care physician. The walk-in clinic is an excellent solution to your problems needing immediate medical care.
Why Use a Walk-In Clinic?
There are several reasons why people choose to utilize the services of a walk-in clinic.
- No Primary Care Physician
If you have recently moved to an area, you may not have had time to select your family doctor. When you need medical services, the walk-in clinic is there to help you get the treatment you need.
- Family Doctor is Unavailable
The walk-in clinic is an excellent alternative if you are travelling and your family doctor’s office is not nearby. If you need to see a doctor immediately and your primary care physician does not have an appointment slot available, these clinics are convenient.
- Weekends and After-Hours
On weekends and after the regular office hours of your family doctor, you can use one of these clinics to get the medical attention you need. Sickness rarely waits until the doctor’s office is open to striking.
- You are Visiting from Another Country
These clinics are willing to provide services to residents of other countries. The clinics typically have sliding payment scales, and residents from other countries will pay the higher charges, but they are a way to get medical help while visiting Canada.
Most Common Services Provided
In these medical facilities, they see patients with a lot of different ailments, but the most common reasons why people go to one include:
- Health screenings
- Allergy tests
- Basic physicals
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Sprains and strains
- You need stitches
- Minor burns
- Non-life threatening conditions
A lot of Canadians do not have any healthcare insurance coverage. These people often prefer walk-in clinics because they rarely require insurance to see a patient.
Many of the clinics even have outpatient prescription pharmacies on the premises where people can get their medicine before they leave for home.
Most clinics have charges ranging from around $50 to $150 per visit.
If you are a Canadian resident and you simply have an expired health card, you would pay the lowest amount on the clinic scale. Out-of-country patients would be charged the highest amount on the pay scale.
What you need to know about these facilities
The phrase walk-in clinic makes you think that all you have to do is walk through the door, and a doctor or medical professional will see you. In some of the treatment facilities, this is precisely how they operate.
In other facilities, you must call before you go to the location and schedule a time to see the doctor there.
You need to have your identification and a list of any medications you take or medical conditions you are currently being treated for. This will allow the doctors to make a better diagnosis of any condition you may have.
When to NOT go to a Walk-In
There are some services the walk-in clinics do not provide. If you need these services, you must visit an emergency room rather than a clinic.
Some things the walk-in facility cannot handle are:
- Broken bones cannot be set at one of these facilities due to a lack of x-ray equipment.
- Head injuries should be taken to an emergency room
- Serious injuries should go to an emergency room
- Heart attacks and strokes need the care of a hospital with a cardiac unit
- Internal issues like severe diarrhea or vomiting require an emergency room visit
- Severe pain that does not have an apparent cause
- If you need ongoing care for diabetes or other chronic conditions.
When you visit the clinic a record of your visit will be created detailing why you visited and what the doctor diagnosed as the cause and treatment for your problem.
You will be asked to sign documents that allow the doctors there to check your PharmaNet profile and share your information with your doctor and anyone who has the need to know about your visit.
If you have a primary care physician a record of your visit will be sent to your doctor so they can include the details in your permanent records at their office. This allows the normal physician that you see to continue care for any ongoing conditions.
Who uses the Walk-In Facilities the Most?
The majority of the people who utilize the convenience of a walk-in clinic are adults under the age of thirty-five and children.
Adults of the 35 or under age group often cannot get off work from vaccinations or they need to see a doctor after normal operating hours due to their own work schedules. These clinics are convenient and easy for them to access.
Children often get sick or get minor injuries after their normal paediatrician offices have closed for the day, or over the weekends. Parents utilize the walk-in facilities for these minor emergencies because they are less expensive than emergency room visits and the child is normally seen quicker than they would be at an emergency room.
Senior citizens rarely visit these facilities.
What do People think about the clinics?
The majority of people who have visited one of these medical establishments have been happy with the care they received. The majority of people are satisfied with the amount of money the care cost, and they were extremely happy with the amount of time they had to wait to be seen. This is especially true of the facilities that allow you to make an appointment to be seen so you have a shorter waiting period.
Walk-in clinics fill a void and provide medical care services when traditional services are not available. These clinics are respected treatment centers equipped to deal with minor emergencies and medical concerns. They are also able to evaluate a patient and recommend an emergency room visit if they feel the patient exhibits signs of a serious problem.