FAQ

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Urgent Questions

MOST OF OUR PHONE CALLS FALL UNDER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS


How do I sign up for a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner?

 

Shoreline Medical Society has transferred our patient registration list to a new way to connect you to healthcare services and a healthcare provider called the Health Connect Registry (HCR).

Registering using this online tool adds you to a local waitlist for a healthcare provider. You may also register your family or a person in your care. If you were already on our registration list, you will have been contacted via phone or email for your consent to move you to this Community wide Health Connect Registry.

Here you can sign up online to have your name added to the Community-Wide Waitlist for residents that reside in the Saanich Peninsula area.
Please note that providing a healthcare provider for residents of the Saanich Peninsula community is very limited at this time. You will be contacted when there is capacity to attach you to a healthcare provider.

Sign up here>>> www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-connect-registry/saanich-peninsula


What is the Health Connect Registry (HCR)

 

To learn more about the Health Care Registry, click on the link below.

Health Connect Registry (HCR)

Or please consult the list of Q&As below to find out more information.

https://shorelinemedical.ca/faq/


How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

We want you all to know that Island Health should be considered as your source for getting accurate information about the vaccine and when you will be eligible to receive it. You can visit Island Health’s website at islandhealth.ca for all the details. 

We have received some questions about the 4 different vaccine brands. From a recent article in CityNews, “currently, there’s no evidence that any one vaccine is better than the other,” said Dr. Daniel Gregson, Epidemiologist with the University Of Calgary. “The best vaccine is the one in your arm.”

Please be aware that our staff do not have any additional information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine so please refer to Island Health for all your questions. 

Thank you for your continued patience and positivity as we all journey through this incredibly difficult time. There is light at the end of the tunnel!


How do I get COVID-19 antibody testing?

 

COVID-19 antibody testing is available at lifelabs however, please be aware that this is not covered by MSP. There will be a cost at the laboratory of $75, and you will have to pay for the office visit ($35) if that is the reason for your visit. We do not recommend antibody testing for the majority of people for the following reasons:

• The test is of limited clinical value as it does not reflect active infection, nor is it proof of immunity to COVID-19. 

• A negative test does NOT rule out an earlier infection, as some people will clear antibody quickly while others won’t even develop an antibody response.


Have other questions about COVID-19?

 

Please wear a mask in the office (just try your best with the kiddos).

Click here if you think you need a COVID-19 swab.

The COVID testing hotline for patients is 1-844-901-8442 answered 8:30am – 4:30pm 7 days per week.

Specifically for healthcare workers who provide direct patient care and need testing for COVID:
please call the direct testing line at 1-833-737-9377.

It is inevitable that as the school year progresses, children will show symptoms of cold, flu, or other illness. During this pandemic, parents will be asking themselves:

– What should I do if my child gets sick?
– When should we test for COVID-19?
– Should my child stay home? and for how long?
– When do we need a doctor’s note?

The above questions are addressed on the following webpage which is very easy to access: Print these helpful resources for your reference.

Click here for information for taking your student for a mouth rinse and gargle COVID-19 test.

Click here for testing information on COVID-19 self assessment and COVID-19 testing.


Are you having a flu clinic? What about flu vaccines?

 

Please check back here for updated information as we are updating as information is provided from the Health Authority. All British Columbians will be eligible for the flu vaccine this year, though emphasis will remain on high-risk populations, and if we don’t have enough for everyone, guidance for prioritization will be provided by Public Health. The high dose vaccine is reserved for patients in long term care facilities.

Flu vaccines are available now from local pharmacies. Please click here to find one near you.


Why can’t I get through on the phone lines?

 

We completely understand your frustration when you can’t get through!  But here is why… we receive, on average,  over 8000 phone calls a day between the two Shoreline clinics. 

This is more than the 811 service receives daily for the whole province. Our MOAs are continuously answering phones throughout the day and remarkably are able to respond to 67% of these calls.  

We are updating our website to easily answer many of these questions to try to reduce the number of phone calls.  We can’t emphasize enough the enormity of this problem. 

Our incredible staff are overwhelmed and the resultant stress is building.  It is with the utmost respect that we ask each of our patients to only call when necessary and be understanding of the demand on our frontline staff.


Is Shoreline taking on new patients, and how do I sign up for a Family Doctor?

 

We do truly appreciate how difficult it is to get a Family Doctor and we at Shoreline are working very hard to provide a doctor to peninsula residents. In the last 4 years, we have attached over 4,600 patients to our Shoreline Physicians. If you do not have a family doctor and you live on the Saanich Peninsula, register by email at the bottom of the homepage. You will be notified by email as soon as we have a doctor for you.

In the meantime, please use the Walk In Services at either Sidney or Brentwood while you wait for a Physician. This will give opportunity for our team to begin to monitor your healthcare needs.

Please know that we have a number of policies that we want you to be aware of before signing up to make sure this is a good fit for you.


How do I book an appointment online?

 

You can log in through the Health Myself Portal. If you are not registered, that’s ok; there is a link right below the phone number on our home page. In order to book an appointment, you must have a family physician at Shoreline. You will be guided through a step by step process to book a telehealth appointment.


I am having issues with Pomelo (formerly known as Health Myself) and setting up the account/ or two people using same email address/ or I can’t remember my password. How do I get support with this?


Why can’t I get my prescription refilled without an appointment/why has my prescription that was sent from my pharmacy not been filled yet?

 

We know this is hard but we do not refill prescriptions without an appointment with a Physician. A medical review is necessary. Your doctor gives you the amount of medication needed to get you to the next appointment that he or she feels is necessary to check in with you again. This just means that you have to identify when you are going to run out and plan a visit in advance of that.

Our staff will not take refill requests over the phone, nor do we respond to pharmacies faxed requests asking for a renewal of your prescriptions. Please understand that due to the volume of patients requiring prescriptions we cannot possibly address these requests outside of a scheduled appointment with a physician. Please note that if you are going to run out before your appointment, your pharmacist can provide an emergency extension of your medications.


When is my specialist appointment, my imaging study etc?

 

Due to COVID-19, all tests and specialist wait times are longer than previous. When a referral is sent off to a specialist or to the radiology department, it is their office that books that appointment.

We often receive notice that they have received the referral, but we do not always know when the appointment is going to be.

Please do not call and ask for this information, you just have to wait to hear from the specialist’s office or we will call you if we receive it. If your symptoms change and there is greater urgency, you should make an appointment with your family physician to alert them to this.


Why can’t I be seen in-person in the office? Everybody else is open!

 

We would love to see you in person, unfortunately due to COVID-19, we are limited by occupancy limits in our office space to be in accordance with provincial guidelines and our WCB safety plan. This maximal number includes the staff and the doctors, which limits the number of providers we can physically have in the building seeing patients any given day. We have all opened up as many weekly access to see our patients in-person as guidelines allow.

We are still doing the majority of our appointments virtually. There are some exceptions to our current policy of “virtual visits first”. This means under certain circumstances, we may bypass telehealth visits and you may be booked directly for in office by your physician or our staff. Please put a detailed reason for visit when you book online and we will call you to arrange an in office visit if needed.


What happens when my family doctor has no appointments available during the time frame I wish to book?

 

We work as a team at Shoreline. If your physician is not available, we strongly encourage you to book online with one of our locum physicians who are covering the practice. They will have access to your medical files and notes that your physician has left for continuity of care. There are also certain visit types that you can book directly with the nurse on our team. Please click on the “team” tab to read about each of our team members.


 

 

General Questions


What is Shoreline Medical?

 

We are a team-based primary Health Care network with a mandate to assist in increasing access to health care and improving the quality of health care for our community on the Saanich Peninsula. The physicians in our clinics work in a team-based model that encourages collaboration between physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and dieticians.


Who owns Shoreline Medical?

 

In short – you, the community. We are owned and operated by a charitable organization called the Shoreline Medical Society. The priority of the society is to implement the full vision of a network of primary health clinics as described above.


What does team-based care mean for our patients?

 

If you are assigned to one of our team of family physicians, he/she will be your Most Responsible Provider (MRP) for health care needs. However, you will not necessarily see your MRP on every visit to the clinic. The good news is that your health care will not have to match with your physician’s availability, thereby increasing your access to care when you need it. Our team of doctors is connected through Electronic Medical Records accessed in every patient room, and your charts are maintained with the assistance of our team of professionals.


Do I have to pay directly for services provided?

 

Most medical visits are covered by Medical Services Plan of BC, so if you are registered for MSP then you will not be charged for a medical visit. There are some services which MSP BC does not cover, and these “uninsured” services require payment from the patient (or the patient’s Extended Health Insurance company). A patient who does not have valid MSP BC coverage will have to pay for their doctor’s visit.


Who looks after me if I am admitted to a hospital?

 

To promote continuity of care our family physicians actively support the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. The good news is, if you are at any time admitted to the local hospital, you will be seen by a member of the team. It also means that your physician is on a rotation to be away from the clinic one in seven weeks. During your family doctor’s hospital rotation, he/she will be covered by the other team doctors and/or a locum.


What if I don’t have a family doctor?

 

We are working very hard to develop a network of medical clinics, to recruit new doctors, so that we can help you find a doctor. If you live on the Saanich Peninsula in our catchment area and do not currently have a family doctor, please check to see if we are open for New Patient Intake. Until then, the best option is for you to consistently use the Walk In Clinic for your health care needs. Although you won’t have an MRP (Most Responsible Physician), you will have the benefit of your medical chart, lab work, and past visits being available to the physician you see through our Electronic Medical Record system.


What if I do not have Medical Services Plan coverage?

 

If you are a BC resident you must enrol in MSP. Click on this link to find out how to apply.
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/eligibility-and-enrolment/how-to-enrol


Will I see a medical trainee when I come in for an appointment?

 

Shoreline Medical is committed to being a Teaching Centre for rural family practice residents. We do this in two ways by taking a resident under our wings in practice to work through their residency and by partnering with Saanich Peninsula Hospital in providing rural electives. In both cases, the medical trainee is under the guidance and mentorship of our team of physicians for all direct patient interactions. Our teaching program is beneficial in recruiting future physicians to the Saanich Peninsula.