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.
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.
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 2021||Not accepting now, but were at some point in 2021||Never accepting at anytime in 2021|
|Bella Bella||Brentwood Bay||Ashcroft|
|Cobble Hill||Campbell River||Chemainus|
|Pitt Meadows||Lake Cowichan||Princeton|
|Port Alice||Lillooet||Shawnigan Lake|
|Port Coquitlam||Logan Lake||Sparwood|
|Port Hardy||Mayne Island||Summerland|
|Powell River||Mill Bay|
|West Kelowna||Port Moody|
|Salt Spring Island|
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
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.
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.”
You can be notified when clinics start accepting new patients in your area.
• “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.”
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.
Don and Ruth