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100 Mile House nurse practitioners helping address shortage of primary care access in Cariboo

Appointments available for virtual appointments for regional patients without family doctor
Nurse practitioners are helping bridge gaps in primary health care in the Cariboo. (Adobe Stock image)

Williams Lake residents without a family doctor will hopefully be able to make appointments for after hours non-urgent care with nurse practitioners in person by the spring.

The Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice (CIRDFP) said a nurse practitioner after hours non-urgent care clinic opened in December that is offering appointments for patients without family doctors in both 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

So far appointments are only available in-person in the 100 Mile area and virtually in Williams Lake, however, they hope to find a location for in-person appointments in Williams Lake as well.

Unattached patients can call the Exeter Clinic phone line 250-395-2271 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday and ask for the virtual clinic to book an appointment.

Appointments are available between 4 p.m to 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The Exeter Clinic in 100 Mile also offers physician appointments in-person on Fridays for unattached patients from anywhere in the region, but they must be booked ahead.

“Access to care is a big concern in many communities across this province, including Williams Lake, and the Division, health authority and local physicians are working hard to address this, and there is no easy solution to what we know is a complex problem,” stated Hannah Deither, virtual care coordinator lead for the CIRDFP.

The CIRDFP expressed gratitude to the nurse practitioners in 100 Mile House for helping to address this need for primary care access in the region.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Williams Lake has not had a walk-in clinic or other option for those without family physicians for anyone in need of non-urgent care.

Anyone without a family physician has had to either access care virtually or line up at the emergency room at the Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Read more: Cariboo Memorial Hospital not unique in staffing challenges: Interior Health

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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