Primary care doctors should resume in-person visits to take pressure off ERs, experts say – CBC

Some Toronto clinics still not seeing patients unless they’re free of COVID-19 symptoms

Nov 04, 2022

Many factors are contributing to the wait times in Ontario’s emergency rooms, including staffing shortages, but some experts say ERs are seeing higher volumes partly because patients can’t see their family doctor in person for normal seasonal illnesses.

“Our family doctor doesn’t accept patients in person with cough, runny nose, flu or COVID symptoms,” one Toronto walk-in clinic told CBC News.

That clinic is not the only one to have that policy. Another clinic said its doctors may not be able to see a patient, depending on their symptoms.

Many at least require a negative COVID-19 test if a patient is showing any symptoms. This is happening at a time when the health-care system is facing a crisis brought on not only by the novel coronavirus but also high case levels of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

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