A walk-in clinic visit would waste less time

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To the Editor:

(Re: “A walk-in clinic might help reduce Creston emergency room waits”)

I am in total support of Sheila Watson’s suggestion as to how a walk-in clinic would benefit Creston. It would definitely take away the long wait time for people with minor ailments and allow the doctors there to treat the emergency patients, which is what hospital emergency rooms are supposed to be used for.

We had lived in Creston for quite a while, and our kids went to school here. At that time we all had family doctors and dentists — no problem. But we’ve been gone eight years and moved back one year ago, and things have certainly changed. We now both have doctors (my husband only in the last two months because a new doctor arrived) and were informed Friday that we both have a dentist.

We lived in Castlegar, Cranbrook and Nelson prior to moving back here. There was no problem getting a doctor or dentist in these small communities.

Nelson, where we recently moved from, is a small, rural, isolated, community like Creston. But, there was no problem getting a doctor or dentist there, and Nelson also has two walk-in clinics to serve the community. We both had to use these walk-in clinics on a few occasions even though we had family doctors. These walk-in clinics certainly were of great benefit and, as Sheila said, they are a first come, first served clinic — but you find out the wait time and then you can leave your name and come back later. It worked out so well for patients, as well as the doctors.

My experience with the hospital in Creston, when we first moved here, was not positive at all. I did not yet have a family doctor, so I had to go use the hospital emergency room. About twice a year, I need to have my ears flushed out. My ear canals are a bit twisted and this is the only solution to clear them. The pressure from the wax buildup causes earaches and headaches. Twice a year, that’s all. So, I went to the hospital and waited three hours to see the doctor. I understood it could be a long wait, and I accepted that. I finally saw a doctor and explained what needed to be done, a procedure that takes a few minutes. She refused to flush my ears. Refused. I waited three hours. She said she’d send me to a specialist. Are you kidding me? I am 61 years old and I think I know what needs to be done. I’ve had this done for years. No, she refused.

My only option now was to go to Nelson to a walk-in clinic. That isn’t fair. So, I waited until the next day and went to the hospital again, and there was a different doctor on. I waited two hours this time. This doctor could see what needed to be done, and flushed my ears, releasing the pressure that was causing my earache and headache, and that was that. It took a few minutes and all was well. So, now I had taken up two doctors’ time for a simple procedure that could have been treated at a walk-in clinic.

Deborah Munro

Creston