With many struggling to get timely access to care and wait lists for family doctors growing, people should know that virtual care is an option for them.
Supported in partnership with the Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team and Oak Valley Health (which includes Markham Stouffville Hospital and Uxbridge Hospital), the Virtual Urgent Care Clinic (VUCC) provides timely access to health care services.
People can receive care from the comfort of their homes and avoid travel time, which is particularly beneficial for those who have accessibility and mobility concerns.
“I have seen a patient who lives in Huntsville and her primary care provider is a 2.5-hour drive away,” Marjan Aghazahedi, nurse practitioner at Oak Valley Health says. “She has been receiving care from us and finds the appointments very engaging and convenient. She likes the use of technology to access health care too.”
Situations like this are becoming more common.
“I have patients who have booked a same-day appointment over the weekend because their doctor wasn’t available,” Marjan says. “They avoided a trip to the Emergency Department, received a plan of care, and had their prescription faxed to a pharmacy.”
The virtual clinic is open seven days a week from 1 to 9 p.m. and is available to all individuals six months and older who have an urgent, non-life-threatening condition that can be addressed virtually.
The nurse practitioner-led clinic offers patients medical advice, diagnosis, test results, treatment, education, and referrals if required.
Since opening, the VUCC has seen an influx in number of patients over the last few months.
“We see patients of all ages and from all over Ontario,” Marjan says. “There is no waiting in the crowded waiting rooms and reduces unnecessary emergency department visits. The VUCC provides accessible and efficient health care.”
The virtual care clinic is also available for those who do not have access to OHIP.
To make a same-day or next-day appointment for the Virtual Urgent Care Clinic, visit oakvalleyhealth.ca/virtual.
Photo: Marjan Aghazahedi, nurse practitioner at Oak Valley Health teaching a mother how to administer a Ventolin puffer for her toddler using an AeroChamber.
*Story submitted by Ronald Ma.