Not all N.L. doc­tors of­fer­ing flu shots: NLMA

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - LOCAL - Telegram@thetele­gram.com

Gov­ern­ment mis­spoke when it said doc­tors were giv­ing out flu shots free of charge, the New­found­land and Labrador Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (NLMA) says.

In a news re­lease Tues­day pro­mot­ing flu shot clin­ics of­fered by pub­lic health per­son- nel through the re­gional health au­thor­i­ties, the prov­ince men­tioned doc­tors as an op­tion.

But the NLMA Wed­nes­day re­minded me­dia that gov­ern­ment cut out the fee code for flu vac­cines. (Doc­tors used to be able to bill MCP $17 for a flu shot and some of­fered af­ter­hours and week­end clin­ics to their pa­tients.)

“This state­ment re­quires clar­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause it im­plies that all fam­ily doc­tors will con­tinue to pro­vide flu shots and that a flu shot can be ob­tained in any type of of­fice visit,” NLMA pres­i­dent Dr. Lynn Dwyer said in the re­lease.

Now the NLMA is hear­ing a mixed bag of re­ac­tions from its mem­bers — some doc­tors will pro­vide the flu shot and ab­sorb the lost fee, oth­ers say they won’t work for free and oth­ers will give it out if a pa­tient is com­ing to the doc­tor for other rea­sons and will in­clude it the reg­u­lar of­fice visit fee (of about $32 billed to MCP.)

There’s some pos­si­bil­ity peo­ple might go to the doc­tor in the guise of a reg­u­lar ap­point­ment just to get a flu shot, how­ever.

If a pa­tient wishes to have a flu shot from their doc­tor, they may wish to call in ad­vance to ver­ify that their doc­tor is still pro­vid­ing this ser­vice, the NLMA ad­vised.

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