Dear Sun Peaks Residents,
Sun Peaks fortunately continues to be in a holding pattern with regards to new reported cases of COVID – 19. Hopefully, this trend will continue. As regards school opening, alas I have no magical insights. However here are some simple measures I would suggest:
- Keep your child at home if they are unwell or have symptoms of Covid-19 even if mild.
- If your child gets symptoms, seek medical advice and/or testing.
- Testing is being done at the Public Health Department Tel: 250-851-7467 in Kamloops and at the Urgent Care Centre at RIH. Tel: 250-314-2256.
- Teach your children about the importance of social distancing, handwashing, wearing a mask properly and not touching their faces.
- When children come home from school, have hand sanitizer at the door, get them used to performing regular hand hygiene.
- As soon as they get home have them head immediately into the shower and put their clothes into the washing machine.
- Stick to your “bubble”, keep social numbers and social interactions as small as possible.
- Continually reinforce all public health measures. This is going to be the norm for some time.
On a completely different topic I want to address access to medical care and the medical center during this coronavirus pandemic and in general. For simplicity I will put these in point form.
- A friendly reminder, if someone had been seen in the in the ‘portable’ clinic (pre-opening of the Health Centre, December 2017) that does not mean you were automatically registered in the new clinic. The portable used paper charts. We use electronic medical records. No confidential data was transferred, and it was communicated extensively to the public that persons without a primary care doctor needed to register in the new Health Centre upon its opening.
- During this COVID pandemic situation, unless there is a life-threatening emergency, patients will be triaged by a physician via a telephone consult to assess the necessity of being seen in person in the Health Centre. We do not have radiology services and often it is determined by the physician that the patient is best served by going directly to RIH emergency.
However, we will advise you. Currently, we do not have an infinite amount of PPE (personal protective equipment) and we must protect our ability to continue to provide healthcare services, and protect our clinic staff, therefore “in person” visits are restricted to the most critical. To reiterate, if deemed appropriate and available, the medical staff will respond to a life-threatening emergency. The physicians will see such patients, regardless of where the patient is from or whether registered here or not. If the emergency happens outside of clinic hours the appropriate action would be to call 911.
As well, on hill accidents can be seen and triaged by the Bike Patrol.
- We are not a ‘walk in clinic’.
- Primary care is being provided virtually or by telephone by the vast majority of physicians across Canada currently and this will be the case for the foreseeable future. If you own or spend time at a vacation residence at Sun Peaks and have a doctor elsewhere, you can access care from your primary provider virtually. As such we will not see visitors for routine visits that would normally be covered by your regular family physician. For example, please don’t ask for a refill of non-essential medications or other items that have historically been prescribed by your primary physician. Such medical practice can create confusion, mistakes and is called ‘double doctoring’ which is not considered best medical practice. (Simply call your regular physician for virtual care and temporary refills). As I am sure you are aware, there is a critical shortage of physicians in BC, therefore I am sure you can appreciate that requesting care from multiple physicians in multiple locales is unreasonable and unfair to the many patients in BC who have no physician at all.
- If you are from another country and visiting Sun Peaks but need regular medical care (including prescription refills etc.) we will make virtual appointments available to you. There will be a charge, and this will be required in advance of your virtual visit.
- We in Sun Peaks and the Health Centre are extremely thankful to all the beneficiaries who contributed to the establishment of the Centre. Many thanks to all of you. There are thousands of people in BC who pay municipal taxes and donate to charitable organizations. Historically donations to any organization or person were done anonymously and for altruistic reasons to better the community. There was no expectation of some ‘payback’ or insurance for something in return. Thus, donations do not guarantee nor ‘buy’ medical care.
Shane Barclay MD
Medical Director, Sun Peaks Health Centre
Sun Peaks Community Health Centre 3115 Creekside Way, Sun Peaks, BC, V0E 5N0