Best Health

HEALTHCARE CONCIERGE

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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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