Walk-in doc­tors want equal pay

The Prince George Citizen - - Local -

(CP) — Doc­tors at over 300 walk-in clin­ics in B.C. want fair pay­ment for their work com­pared with those in full fam­ily prac­tice, says the head of an as­so­ci­a­tion that’s ral­ly­ing its mem­bers to in­crease ac­cess and prof­its through in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy.

Mike McLough­lin, found­ing di­rec­tor of the Walk-In Clin­ics of BC As­so­ci­a­tion, said the fa­cil­i­ties fill a gap for pa­tients who can’t get a fam­ily physi­cian or same­day ap­point­ments and should be con­sid­ered an im­por­tant part of re­form­ing pri­mary care.

The as­so­ci­a­tion gath­ered for its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing Fri­day, where mem­bers were ex­pected to dis­cuss is­sues such as ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the gov­ern­ment and Doc­tors of BC, the as­so­ci­a­tion that rep­re­sents the prov­ince’s physi­cians, whose agree­ment will ex­pire in March.

McLough­lin said walk-in doc­tors of­ten see pa­tients with com­plex con­di­tions but can’t charge the ex­tra fees that are paid to full fam­ily physi­cians.

McLough­lin said ac­cess to care is eroded by a quota for walk-in doc­tors who are paid to see up to 50 pa­tients a day, fol­lowed by half the fee pay­ment – or about $30 for a ba­sic visit – un­til they reach 65 pa­tients and then they get no fee at all.

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