Find a Doctor BC 2021 Year in Review

Welcome to the first year in review from Find a Doctor BC.

We have put together statistics about what happened in the last year with regard to family practitioners accepting new patients in BC.

Areas covered.

By May 2021 we had the entire lower half of the province covered, about 95% of BC’s population. We monitor about 3,500 family practitioners in 747 clinics located in 104 towns and cities. We are working on adding the northern half of the province and that should be complete very soon.

Results

From our data throughout the province, at end of 2021, there were 59 clinics who were accepting new patients, 19 who were accepting new patients in a limited way, 31 had a wait list and 638 were not accepting new patients and had no wait list.

Typically, there is only one family practitioner at a time in a clinic accepting new patients. This implies about 1 in 50 family practitioners were accepting new patients at the end of year.

However, those accepting new patients were not evenly distributed throughout the province. Some cities, like Maple Ridge and Surrey had over 10% of clinics accepting new patients, while many others had none.

During 2021 we detected a total 218 family practitioners accepting new patients at some point during the year.

At the end of 2021,

• 34 towns/cities had at least one clinic accepting new patients
• 47 towns/cities had no clinics accepting but had at least one clinic accepting new patients at some point in 2021
• 23 towns/cities did not have a single clinic accepting new patients during 2021.

Following is a list of BC towns and cities that have had at least one clinic…

  Accepting new patients at the end of 2021Not accepting now, but were at some point in 2021Never accepting at anytime in 2021
Alert BayAbbotsfordAldergrove
BeaverdellAgassizArmstrong
Bella BellaBrentwood BayAshcroft
ChilliwackBurnabyChase
Cobble HillCampbell RiverChemainus
CoquitlamCastlegarCrawford Bay
DeltaClearwaterFruitvale
Denman IslandComoxGabriola
Gold RiverCourtenayGaliano
Grand ForksCranbrookGibsons
Hornby IslandCrestonHope
InvermereDuncanKeremeos
KasloElkfordKimberley
LangleyEnderbyLake Country
Maple RidgeFernieLantzville
New WestminsterKamloopsMission
North VancouverKelownaNakusp
PembertonLadysmithPender Island
Pitt MeadowsLake CowichanPrinceton
Port AliceLillooetShawnigan Lake
Port CoquitlamLogan LakeSparwood
Port HardyMayne IslandSummerland
Port McNeillMerrittWestbank
Powell RiverMill Bay
Quathiaski CoveNanaimo
RevelstokeNelson
RichmondNew Denver
SalmoOkanagan Falls
SecheltOliver
SurreyOsoyoos
UclueletParksville
VancouverPenticton
VernonPort Alberni
West KelownaPort Moody
Qualicum Beach
Rossland
Saanichton
Salmon Arm
Salt Spring Island
Sidney
Sooke
Squamish
Sun Peaks
Tofino
Victoria
West Vancouver
White Rock

Note we only find clinics that are officially accepting new patients. If a doctor accepts a new patient via family and friends, we generally don’t hear about it. Our surveys show that about 1 in 5 patients find doctors through family and friends.

Search your town/city for clinics accepting new patients Search Now

Website Usage

Patients looking for care used the Findadoctorbc.ca website a lot last year, with over 250,000 people accessing the site over the year. Having concise clinic listings and up-to-date accepting status available has helped avoid countless extra phone calls to clinics asking whether they are accepting new patients.

Notification Service

In addition to the website, we offer a notification service that will send you an email when a clinic in your region starts accepting new patients. From exit survey data (given to people who are leaving the service), of those who filled out the survey, 75% had found a family doctor or Nurse Practitioner. Of those, 85% found a medical doctor, 10% a Nurse Practitioner and 5% a team practice. We also asked how these people actually found doctors. 60% had found the practitioner through the notification service while 18% had found one through family and friends, 6% by using a walk-in clinic and 16% other.

Here are a few selected comments from people when asked “Is there anything else you would like us to know?”

• “I was skeptical about this service at first, wondering if it would take months or even years before I’d hear back from them. I even wondered if it was a scam that I’d fallen into. But within 2 months (only) I received information about a doctor close by to me who was accepting new patients, and as of today, I have a new doctor. Great service!!”


• “I’ve been trying to find a doctor in Victoria for 8 years. After 5 months of subscribing to your service, I’ve now secured care for myself and my 3 month old daughter! There are no words to describe just how grateful I am for your service. THANK YOU!”


• “This service was so helpful! I still had to contact the doctors receiving new patients myself, with no promises, but found two within about 6 months of being on Find a Doctors, applied, visited, and actually got to choose the one that felt like the best fit! Thanks!”


• “Beautiful work! I could not have done this without you people. You gave several choices over time but choosing the most convenient choice was awesome. Took an instant liking to the doctor, absolutely wonderful. Thank you.”


• “I wish I had known about you sooner. I spent hours calling clinics and just having the privilege of someone (your organization) helping me with my search was comforting. thank you.”

You can be notified when clinics start accepting new patients in your area. Sign-up Now

A Final Word

While we get many emails of thanks and support, we also get our share of “This is a scam”. To be clear, the use of the website is free, there is no advertising, we charge a nominal fee for the notification service to cover our costs and we offer it for free to anyone who says they feel they can’t afford it. We do our best to supply timely information about clinics accepting new patients, but we can’t make more family practitioners.

The situation in Victoria is particularly dire. We regularly receive heart breaking emails from seniors whose family doctor has retired, and they have no care available other than walk-in clinics. When we hear back that they found a doctor through our service, it gives us great joy. But we would prefer to not have to offer this service and for everyone in the province to be able to get the personal care a family doctor can provide.

Regards

Don and Ruth

Health Link BC has set up registries for those on the Saanch Peninsula and in the Western Communities who are looking for care.

Health Link BC has set up registries for those on the Saanch Peninsula and in the Western Communities who are looking for care.

It is a good idea for everyone waiting for a family practitioner to register with the program in their area. See below for details.

As far as Find a Doctor BC goes we will continue to look for family practitioners in these areas as we are aware of clinics who are not opting-in to the program.


From the Health Connect Registry website

Health Connect Registry, Saanich Peninsula
The Saanich Peninsula Primary Care Network (PCN) team is working with clinics in your community to help you find a family doctor or nurse practitioner. To support this work, we have launched a community-wide registry called the Health Connect Registry.

You can register if you, your family, or a person in your care lives within one of these communities: Royal Oak/Cordova Bay, Prospect Lake, Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney.

Once registered, you will be contacted directly when a primary care provider is available.

Heath Connect Registry

Health Connect Registry, Western Communities
The Western Community Primary Care Network (PCN) team is working with clinics in your community to help you find a family doctor or nurse practitioner. To support this work, we have launched a community-wide registry called the Health Connect Registry.

You can register if you, your family, or a person in your care lives within one of these communities: Colwood, Langford/Highland, Esquimalt/View Royal, Metchosin, Sooke and Juan de Fuca Coast.

Once registered, you will be contacted directly when a primary care provider is available.

Heath Connect Registry

New downtown Victoria clinic doing randomized selection for intake

Health Care on Yates
1139 Yates Street Victoria BC
No walk-ins, 6 doctors

 Clinic website

Contact

On the home page of their website it says: “Our intake form is now available – click on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Beginning in January, 2021 we will do our first randomized selection. We will be doing multiple randomized selections throughout the next year. If your application is selected you will receive a phone call within a few weeks. If not, your application will continue to be active in the upcoming randomized selections – no need to apply again.”

 

Information on becoming attached to JBUPCC on their website

James Bay Urgent and Primary Care Centre
547 Michigan Street, Victoria, BC
Clinic Website

Contact

The James Bay Urgent and Primary Care Centre has information on how to become ‘attached to the clinic’ on the linked website, under the heading of “Request for attachment at the James Bay Urgent and Primary Care Centre”. There is currently an 11-12 month turnaround time to get attached.

When attached, the clinic is then your primary care provider. You do not have a ‘family doctor’; it is a team approach, like the whole clinic is your family doctor.

You can expect a 12+ month wait to get attached.