The College has disabled the automated search feature on the physician directory, which allowed family physicians to identify themselves as accepting new patients and patients to run reports based on this data.
Rationale for the decision
From the time the physician directory was first enabled, family physicians have been responsible for keeping information about their practice capacity current. In more recent years, as many family physicians have reached capacity to take on new patients and work in multiple practice locations, reports generated by the “accepting new patients” search feature in the physician directory were frequently inaccurate, causing undue frustration for patients seeking a family physician.
This is why the decision was made to disable this particular search feature in the physician directory.
The physician directory will continue to be available to patients and others who wish to confirm whether a physician is currently registered and licensed with the College, and provide information as required by the Health Professions Act, including a business address and phone number. The physician directory also provides information such as registrants’ place of graduation, credentials, and scope of practice.
Patients seeking care from a family physician
Patients having difficulty finding a family physician may consider attending a walk-in clinic in their neighbourhood. According to the College practice standard, Primary Care Provision in Walk-in, Urgent Care, and Multi-physician Clinics, physicians working in a walk-in clinic will be held responsible for offering any patient who doesn’t have a dedicated family physician longitudinal medical care, including the provision of appropriate periodic health examinations.
Patients can access a list of walk-in clinics, a list of applicable Divisions of Family Practice chapters with patient attachment mechanisms in place, and other health resources in their area through Healthlink BC by dialing 8-1-1 or by visiting their website at www.healthlinkbc.ca.
HealthLink BC develops, operates and maintains a comprehensive non-emergency health information and advice service for residents of British Columbia.