HEALTH­CARE CONCIERGE

Best Health - - YOU -

Al­most ev­ery­one has felt the frus­tra­tion of be­ing sick and un­able to get in to see their doc­tor. Only 43 per­cent of Cana­di­ans were able to get a same-day or next-day ap­point­ment at their doc­tor’s of­fice the last time they needed med­i­cal at­ten­tion — the low­est per­cent­age of the 11 Com­mon­wealth coun­tries sur­veyed, ac­cord­ing to the Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Health In­for­ma­tion. And while there are no hard stats on the av­er­age ap­point­ment times, it’s com­monly known that most fam­ily physi­cians only of­fer pa­tients 10-minute time slots to dis­cuss their con­cerns. But stud­ies have shown that longer vis­its can im­prove sev­eral as­pects of care in terms of both pre­ven­tion and pa­tient par­tic­i­pa­tion. En­ter the con­cept of a health­care concierge.

Imag­ine hav­ing your doc­tor on call to ad­dress your ev­ery health con­cern when and where you need it. Pri­vate clin­ics that of­fer concierge ser­vices are pop­ping up across the coun­try to ad­dress th­ese proac­tive pa­tients. One such op­tion is Van­cou­ver-based health and well­ness clinic Qi In­te­grated Health. For a mem­ber­ship fee of $2,500 a year, pa­tients have full-time phone and email ac­cess to a physi­cian and a dig­i­tal por­tal where they can track their health records on­line. Qi also of­fers holis­tic care re­fer­rals, to a team that in­cludes a mas­sage thera-

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