Primary health care is still available in Chilliwack, it just looks different in the age of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file)

Family medicine still available just different in the age of COVID-19

Local health officials send reminder that doctors are still providing care, by phone or video chat

Doctors’ offices are still open in Chilliwack, but most of the care is being provided over the phone or by video chat.

“Our community still has primary health care available,” said Dr. Allison Salter, spokesperson for Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, who is also a family physician. “We are here to help.”

The Division of Family Practice represents doctors and nurse practitioners in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Seabird Island and Hope. They are eager to get this message out at time of COVID-19 when people are talking about the need for people to stay home.

“Family medicine is still available, it just looks a little different right now,” Salter said, adding that patients can call their physician and make an appointment.

Many physical as well as mental health conditions can be assessed and managed over the phone, and that’s is the best way to keep members of the public, and health-care providers, safe.

“But if someone has a medical condition that requires an in-person assessment, arrangements can be made for them to been seen,” Dr. Salter said.

For those without a family doctor, the walk-in clinics in Chilliwack are still accessible, but they now require a pre-booked appointment. Appointments are made online at https://medimap.ca/Location/Chilliwack.

Dr. Salter also wanted folks of the Eastern Fraser Valley to know that the sacrifices being made in the age of COVID-19 have not gone unnoticed by local health care officials.

“I want everybody to know and understand how appreciative we are of the changes people are making,” Dr. Salter said, referring to cancelled wedding plans, family gatherings and celebrations of life, for example.

“Because people are making those changes, they are saving lives. By being willing to change their daily habits and the way they celebrate, they are saving their communities, as well as their loved ones.”

All those cancellations “are saving lives by preventing people from getting sick,” the doctor reiterated. “That will ultimately make our jobs easier.”

READ MORE: Prescriptions can be renewed

READ MORE: Take COVID-19 seriously


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