Williams Lake has a walk-in clinic after being without one for several years.
The brainchild of emergency doctor Johann Schreve and his wife Suzanne, the clinic opened its doors Monday in a convenient location in the 400 block of Borland Street.
“I worked in Atwood Clinic and then gave up my practice and went to emergency last year,” he said, noting after his year in the emergency department he knew the community could benefit from having a walk-in clinic.
There are three reasons they opened the clinic.
They wanted to give people another choice, waiting times in the emergency department are too long and he missed general practitioner work.
Six local physicians are interested in working at the walk-in clinic on a part-time basis. Two are emergency doctors, four are general practitioners, and two of them are also anesthetists.
“The plan is to reach out and see if another doctor wants to join me here,” Dr. Schreve said. “We need another emergency physician as well so we would like to advertise that, and I am planning if they want to do some walk-in practice too then they can work with me here.”
A year and half ago, he began looking at the idea of opening the walk-in clinic.
Once he gave up his practice at the Atwood Clinic, he and Suzanne decided Williams Lake needed one, and they decided to embark on “a new adventure.”
Suzanne is the clinic’s part-time medical office assistant a few days a week.
“I’m a certified health wellness coach and eventually I will offer that at the clinic,” Suzanne said.
The clinic will be open for short hours during the day.
Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. most days, and on Mondays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., some Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They have capacity to see 30 to 35 patients a shift in the mornings and can do about 20 to 25 in the evenings.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Schreve became a doctor 11 years ago. They moved to Williams Lake in 2015.
“We are very happy here,” he said of the lakecity, noting they have four children ages eight, seven, five and almost three years of age.
High school sweethearts, the couple has known each other since Grade 1.
People wanting to access the clinic do not need to make an appointment. Once a person arrives, and presents a medical card, staff at the clinic will enter them into the system and ask them to fill out a registration form, also available on the clinic’s website.
“The form captures basic information about medical history, allergies, surgical history, and who is your family doctor and contact information, things the College of Physicians and Surgeons wants us to capture,” Dr. Schreve said. “Based on that when you come in we will give you a time slot. We will keep the first 20 people here if it’s that busy and say, for instance your time slot is two hours later we will tell you if you want to leave and come back at a certain time so you don’t have to wait.”
Slots will be for 10 minutes, give or take, Suzanne said.
“If we see shorter times then we will phone ahead and tell patients we have moved up their slot.”
About 100 people have already registered for the clinic, and the Schreves encourage people to engage with them on their website at https://borlandmediclinic.ca/.
That way they can check to see if the clinic is open because there could be emergencies at the hospital that Schreve has to attend to.
As they were putting the finishing touches to the clinic last weekend, which is housed in a building they purchased that was former daycare, but originally built as a doctor’s office, they said they are very focused on being child friendly.
“We are going to have a corner for kids,” Schreve said. “This is a community clinic and the town is our patient.”