In an effort to keep pressure off the emergency room at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, the Kimberley Medical Clinic will be offering expanded hours on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dr. Ilona Hale says that this is to deal with urgent and emergent issues, whether related to COVID-19 or not.
It is a call in service, and someone from the practice will be manning the phones during those hours on the weekend.
“It’s not for prescription refills, you can call during the week for that, but if you’re sick, or for Kimberley residents who don’t have a family doctor,” she said.
Dr. Hale says Kimberley residents are being very careful not to overwhelm doctors, and are often apologetic about making appointments. She wants them to know that Kimberley’s doctors are here for you.
“We do want to help you. Don’t let something simmer or get worse because you think that we’re too busy.”
This includes, she says, anyone struggling with mental health issues during this time.
“We really want to care for our community members at this time, as much or more than ever. We are here for them and we are taking all possible precautions to keep our patients, staff and ourselves safe,” she said.
The number to call for consults on the weekend is 250-427-4861.
Dr. Hale also said that the clinic is still seeing patients in office. It’s not all telephone and virtual appointments.