The presence of walk-in clinics has been a welcome addition to the healthcare sector, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The healthcare system in Canada is one of the most advanced in the region with both private and public systems running functionally.
Canada boasts two distinct types of walk-in clinics:
- A typical walk in the center
This center does not store any patient information, as patients walk in and access medical care and leave. This center has extended hours of operation and is available to anyone in need of medical attention.
- Walk-in with after-hour services
This center normally handles patients who are not able to access their family doctor and have to go to physicians at these centers. Once the patient confirms the availability to attend the clinic, their file is made ready pending their arrival. These patients can also have their insurance present.
With the Covid-19 restrictions, some walk-in clinics require patients to book in advance, to help curb the spread of the virus. However, most still take in walk-in clients who do not necessarily need to book an appointment.
The Canadian walk-in clinics are led by doctors instead of nurses like most clinics. This has decongested the hospitals making it ideal for walk-in clinics to serve as functional centers for healthcare access. Patients with varying degrees of medical conditions can access healthcare without necessarily being able to be associated with a primary physician.
Nurses are also present in the clinics and consult with the doctors to provide premium services to clients. This makes patients reliant on these services and able to have their conditions checked and treated.
Telehealth services in walk-in clinics
Walk-in clinics are now able to offer patients telehealth services. These services ensure patients can book online appointments and consult with a physician. If the patient’s condition requires an immediate checkup, they are immediately booked and slotted to see a physician. This has tremendously reduced the wait times in these clinics and reduced patient traffic.
The Covid-19 has brought with it several implications on patient’s healthcare, with many individuals seeking out online healthcare to avoid the risk of infection or the long queues that are characterized by walk-in clinics. Therefore, telehealth services are attracting new patients and making them book a checkup for observation.
There is the availability of both private and public telehealth. Telehealth services are classified according to the territory or province. The public telehealth services are run by government health officials who operate the phone and advise patients on the right course of action.
These virtual care appointments help patients access healthcare at the comfort of their homes without unnecessary protocol procedures.
Walk in a clinic are normally staffed with nurses and urgent care practitioners. These aim to revolutionize the health care industry by putting less pressure on doctors and diversifying services to external medical staff, so they can meet more clients and access quality of healthcare regardless of their status and condition.
Insurance and walk-in clinics
Several Canadians remain uninsured. The need for insurance is a growing need that sways individuals away from accessing quality healthcare due to the fact they do not have access to these amenities.
Walk-in clinics are characterized by their lack of insurance policy, as patients can access healthcare even without it. This makes the situation ideal for those who are not able to have it. The use of cash makes access to healthcare easier and access medicine straight from the pharmacy.
The future of walk-in clinics
Walk-in clinics are aiming to integrate family care into the system, by being able to keep patient information and make it easier to keep track of return patients. This will make them able to have a more integrated approach and make patients able to have treatment plans in place.
Continuity of care is a welcome addition, especially in today’s world. Therefore, having the right avenues and structures in place which ensure patients can have doctors dedicated to the treatment plans and well-being is ideal. Family services will be able to direct patients to walk-in clinics and make them able to venture into these services.
Most family doctors are also registering in walk-in clinics as a way to access patients who are unable to visit them due to insurance or other concerns. This has given patients a variety of physicians to access and have their conditions treated by some of the best in the business.
The integration of services in walk-in clinics will also offer accountability and responsibility in the clinics, and make them more inclusive in the community. This accountability will ensure that physician malpractice is brought to book, and give a plethora of choices to patients who are out of reach. The inclusivity will ensure the proper records are made, and the right medication is dispensed locally.
A payment system that is capitalized also makes it easier for record-keeping and calculating the Return On Investment. This is ideal especially in densely populated areas, as it makes it easier for the management board to increase services, products and reach the bulk of the community.
More walk-in clinics are also being funded by both state and private entities. The pandemic has brought more focus on the importance of primary care to patients, as hospitals become inaccessible to patients with minor conditions. As a result, the allocation of funds is crucial in understanding the healthcare system, and evaluating how pertinent medical care is in the community.
In Canada, the state is ensuring facilities are well equipped with medicine, PPEs, and physicians. Physicians can seek employment in a variety of walk-in clinics, and be able to offer their services to patients. The availability of services opens up avenues for several walk-in clinics across Canada.
The growing industry of walk-in clinics will therefore be part of the Canadian focus on ensuring exclusivity and healthcare across the country. Several states are embracing walk in services as primary healthcare providers, and sensitizing the public to seek their services. This will greatly elevate the level and quality of services in the country.