Dear Saanich Peninsula Community,
We hope you are in good health and enjoying the holiday season. We are writing to inform you about work underway with our partners to improve access to services that will result in upcoming changes to walk-in clinic services provided at our two Shoreline Medical clinics.
Shoreline Medical Society, a charitable organization, was created in 2015 with a long-term mission of providing Saanich Peninsula residents with “attached care” — in other words, a family physician.
We are proud to say that by 2020, Shoreline had grown from an original team of five family physicians to 25 doctors and a nurse practitioner, as well as allied health care staff including nurses, a clinical pharmacist, a social worker, a mental health counsellor and support staff. In addition to serving families, Shoreline runs a youth clinic, and its physicians also provide crucial support services to Saanich Peninsula Hospital. Since Shoreline opened our doors, our two Shoreline clinics have provided a walk-in service for the Saanich Peninsula community.
Along the way, Shoreline has far surpassed its original goal of attaching 10,000 Saanich Peninsula residents with a family physician. Today, Shoreline’s total patient roster is now close to 17,000 people, which represents over 40 per cent of the Saanich Peninsula population.
Alas, during COVID, several walk-in clinics in our area closed their doors, overwhelmed by the challenges of meeting needs of patients without a family doctor seeking care. During this extremely challenging period, Shoreline stood strong, continuing to provide walk-in care with additional support of the Ministry of Health and the South Island Primary Care Network.
Providing a walk-in service at Shoreline generated a demand that has made it difficult to continue to operate the service at our clinics. An overwhelming demand for services has led to unsatisfactory wait times resulting in frustrated patients, increased workload with multiple challenges and complications affecting the medical team and their patients.
Fortunately, help is on the way.
Evolving Primary Care Services on the Saanich Peninsula
As of March 31, 2024, Shoreline will transition its walk-in clinic services at both our Sidney and Brentwood locations.
An expanded Island Health primary care service at the Peninsula Health Unit will open this spring to help meet the needs of the Saanich Peninsula community.
Working in collaboration with the Ministry, South Island Primary Care Network and Island Health, Shoreline is proudly helping to establish this new service to help support the community’s access to primary care when needed.
How does this change affect you?
If you are an attached Shoreline patient (you have a family doctor at Shoreline):
• Shoreline is dedicated to providing increased access.
• If you have an urgent medical concern, please contact Shoreline. If possible, we will attempt to have you meet a member of our team.
If you do not have a family doctor at Shoreline and are currently receiving care from our walk-in clinic:
• Shoreline will follow-up on tests we have ordered and maintain the records of walk-in clinic patients.
• Shoreline will not accept walk-in clinic patients as of March 31, 2024.
Fortunately, this spring Island Health is establishing a new service at the Peninsula Health Unit with the support of Shoreline and the South Island Primary Care Network.
Further communication from Island Health on the new service will be communicated in the new year.
An important step towards continued health care services for our community
The establishment of a new Island Health service represents an important proactive step towards maintaining health care services for our community. In addition to providing a centralized access point, the new Island Health service will help relieve strains on Saanich Peninsula Hospital’s Emergency Department, which has also seen increasing numbers of patients seeking non-emergency care in recent years.
The Island Health service will also allow Shoreline to stabilize and rebalance our clinics. When capacity allows, Shoreline hopes to attach patients with a Shoreline family doctor through the Health Connect Registry.
Fundamentally, this new development will help position Shoreline to continue collaborating with the Primary Care Network, Island Health, system partners and other community members and further expand services to meet our community’s growing needs.
On behalf of the Shoreline Medical Society,
Helpful Links If you need to find a family doctor:
Walk-In Clinics: https://medimap.ca/clinics/walk-in-clinics/bc/saanichton
Island Health locations: https://www.islandhealth.ca/our-locations