The online physician directory available on the College website does not provide a list of physicians who are accepting new patients. There has been a noted increase in calls and emails from patients recently who have been told by physicians’ offices to contact the College to obtain a list of family physicians accepting new patients. This is causing undue frustration for those seeking a family physician.
Medical office staff and registrants (especially those who are planning to retire in the near future) should direct patients who are seeking a family physician to HealthLink BC for referral to applicable Divisions of Family Practice chapters with patient attachment mechanisms and lists of walk-in clinics and health resources in their area. HealthLink BC is accessible by dialing 8-1-1 or by visiting www.healthlinkbc.ca.
Registrants working in walk-in clinics are responsible for offering longitudinal medical care to any patient who does not have a dedicated family physician, including providing appropriate periodic health examinations and follow-up care. See the College practice standard Primary Care Provision in Walk-in, Urgent Care, and Multi-physician Clinics.