Due to increasing pressures on its physicians, Shoreline Medical will be closing its walk-in clinics on March 31 but says Island Health will be opening another clinic, though details are still up in the air.
In a notice to the Saanich Peninsula community, Shoreline Medical says through the years it has grown its clinics in Sidney and Brentwood Bay to have 25 doctors, a nurse practitioner and allied health care staff like nurses, a clinical pharmacist, a social worker, a mental health counsellor and support staff.
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There are now 17,000 patients attached to the clinics.
“Alas, during COVID, several walk-in clinics in our area closed their doors, overwhelmed by the challenges of meeting needs of patients without a family doctor seeking care,” the notice posted to its website says.
“During this extremely challenging period, Shoreline stood strong, continuing to provide walk-in care with additional support of the Ministry of Health and the South Island Primary Care Network.”
Now, the pressure has caught up with the clinics and it is needing to make the choice to close the walk-in clinics, though the family practice will be unaffected.
“Providing a walk-in service at Shoreline generated a demand that has made it difficult to continue to operate the service at our clinics,” the notice says. “An overwhelming demand for services has led to unsatisfactory wait times resulting in frustrated patients, increased workload with multiple challenges and complications affecting the medical team and their patients.”
With the closure announcement, Shoreline says Island Health is working to establish another clinic at the Peninsula Health Unit, though exactly what that will look like is still being worked out.
CHEK News has asked if the new clinic will be a walk-in clinic and a spokesperson said the details are still being worked out and will be announced in the coming months.
“As partners in the Saanich Peninsula Primary Care Network, Island Health is working to develop a new expanded primary care service at the Peninsula Health Unit to help support the primary care needs on the Peninsula,” the statement from Island Health says.
“More details will be shared when they are confirmed early in the new year. It is our goal to have the service open in spring 2024. Additionally, we understand a new physician-led primary care clinic is currently under development for the Peninsula and is anticipated to open in spring 2024.”