Wait times in emergency rooms can be long and unpredictable. According to Health Quality Ontario, patients spend on average 3.2 hours in an Emergency department for low-urgency issues (sore throat, fever, cough), and a number of circumstances can affect how long you may spend in the emergency department, including what time of day you go. Walk-in clinics serve an important role in our healthcare system, however many clinics are packed, at capacity or close early. For those people dealing with non-urgent issues, there is a better, more convenient way to get the help you need – virtual walk-in clinics.
Over the past two years, millions of Canadians have discovered the benefits of using virtual medicine for everyday healthcare needs. But, did you know that virtual walk-in clinics can provide advice, assessment, and treatment for minor injuries or illnesses, just like your local emergency department?
Here are 4 reasons why a virtual walk-in clinic might be the right choice for you.
You have a non life-threatening medical issue
A virtual walk-in clinic appointment may be the right option if you have a medical problem that you think is non-life-threatening, including minor ailments such as a cough, fever, sore throat, mental health concern etc. You’ll get the care you need, where and when you need it most.
Anytime access: No waiting rooms!
If you are a parent, you know the frustration of dealing with a sick child and not knowing whether to take them to the emergency room or wait until your family doctor has an available appointment. With telemedicine, you can speak directly with a doctor over the phone quickly, and without having to leave the comfort of your home. This prevents unnecessary trips to busy walk-in clinics or hospitals.
Reduced exposure to viruses and germs
Waiting for hours in an emergency department or walk-in clinic with other patients can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and other viruses. Virtual medicine keeps you at home, avoiding exposure to infectious diseases. This is especially important for aging patients and those who are immune compromised.
You live far away from the nearest emergency walk-in clinic
For those living in rural settings, or dealing with mobility issues, fast access to medical care isn’t always possible. Telemedicine provides a way to meet with a doctor quickly – making it much easier for you to get immediate care and attention without having to leave your home.
What to expect during a virtual walk-in clinic appointment?
During your appointment, you will have the opportunity to speak to a doctor about your health concern. Based on your needs, the doctor may:
- Address your concerns during the appointment
- Discuss a care plan/treatment options
- Give you a specialized referral
- Fax a prescription to your pharmacy
- Recommend that you see your Family Doctor
- Recommend that you go to the nearest Emergency Department
How to book your virtual doctor visit
If you’re looking for support and would like to speak with an Ontario doctor, visit www.tuliphealth.ca. Tulip Health is a virtual, phone-based, walk-in clinic that provides non-emergency related healthcare. Our doctors are also trained to assess mental health concerns and make the appropriate recommendations or referrals to specialists. Tulip Health offers same-day or next-day appointments any day of the week. It’s easy to use and it’s covered by OHIP. To book an appointment, visit www.tuliphealth.ca.