The Fraser Canyon Hospital is still open, but doors are closed and people will be screened before they enter. (Submitted)

Hope medical centres update practices during COVID-19 pandemic

Appointments, healthcare needs being taken care of over the phone, online

As Hope doctors urge residents to stay home except when absolutely necessary, family doctor Joshua Greggain is asking people to call their medical centre rather than showing up at the doors.

The Fraser Canyon Hospital and Hope Medical Centre are continuing to serve people, although their doors will be closed.

Here are the details regarding each Hope facility:

Fraser Canyon Hospital:

The utmost care is being taken, Greggain said, to not allow COVID-19 into the hospital.

No visitors are allowed, except in exceptional circumstances.

Hospital doors will be locked and patients will be screened before entering the facility.

“That’s even more important at the hospital…this is where our most sick and most frail people are right now,” Greggain said. “So we’re trying to prevent anyone bringing viral infections into the hospital while still ensuring people have access to the care that they need.”

Anyone experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms who need to be hospitalized will be transferred to Chilliwack General Hospital where an isolation ward is set up, provided they are stable and do not require intensive care. “Patients will be kept in our negative pressure or isolation room before transfer, at the Hope emergency room, and then transferred to the Chilliwack General Hospital,” Greggain said.

With normally 35 to 40 family doctors and many other specialists working at the Chilliwack hospital, there are now only eight or nine doctors caring for all patients in order to minimize exposure Greggain said.

For elderly patients experiencing symptoms and who may require life support, they are to be cared for at Surrey Memorial and possibly Abbotsford Regional.

Hope Medical Centre:

Remains open, although the doors are closed and any patients coming in will be screened. Healthcare providers urge people to call instead of coming in. The number is 604-869-5648.

Most appointments and needs are being taken care of via telephone. Doctors are also being set up with the online videoconferencing application Zoom to be able to conduct telehealth. Some appointments, such as three-month injections for cancer patients, are still being done in-person.

Fraser Canyon walk-in clinic:

Closed. Doctors ask that people call the Hope Medical Centre at 604-869-5648.

For people who need prescriptions for a medication they normally take can get 30-day refills by contacting their pharmacist. Going to a doctor is not necessary for regular prescriptions Greggain said.

”We’re relying on people to…self-isolate, watch your symptoms if you have anything,” he said. “Mild symptoms can be managed at home without any testing, they can be simply getting better and trying to prevent the spread.”

If symptoms worsen and you require emergency care, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.

CoronavirusFraser HealthHealth

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