When Should You Go to a Walk In Clinic?
Getting health care in Canada can be confusing and at times challenging, especially if you don’t have a family doctor. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the care you need. Walk in clinics are a great option for health care, but it leaves people wondering, “should I go to the walk in clinic?” We’ve got your answers here and more.
What Are Walk in Clinics and Who Are They For?
Walk in clinics are designed to give people access to medical care without an appointment, whether or not they have a family doctor. They provide the same services as a family doctor and can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication.
Walk in clinics are for everyone. If you have a health card, you can visit a walk in clinic, typically free of charge. If you don’t have a health card, you may have to pay a fee out of pocket.
Should I Go to the Walk In Clinic?
Whether or not you should go to the walk in clinic depends on a variety of factors. You should always try to see your family doctor first, as they know your health history and are best positioned to help you, but that’s not always an option.
So, what can I go to a walk in centre for? Some reasons include:
- Your family doctor’s office is closed and you need urgent care
- You don’t have a family doctor
- You can’t get a convenient appointment time with your family doctor
- Your health concern is urgent but isn’t serious enough for the ER
If you’re wondering “when should you go to a walk in clinic?”, these are all great reasons. The simple truth is that walk in clinics aren’t designed to replace family doctors, but give people options and urgent care.
Many people wonder whether they should be visiting the Emergency Room or a walk in clinic, and the answer to that will depend on the nature of your health concern/injury.
Some of the main reasons you should opt for the ER over a walk in clinic include:
- You have a life-threatening injury or condition
- You’re having trouble breathing
- You have a burn
- You need stitches
- You have a foreign object in your body
- Your pain is severe
Walk in clinics are not designed for emergencies; they’re there to give you fast care for issues that aren’t life threatening. If you’re unsure, opt for the ER to be safe.
Visiting a Walk In Clinic to See a Doctor
Visiting a walk in clinic is fairly straightforward; usually, you can walk in and see a doctor with no appointment and minimal wait times. Some walk in clinics do require or provide appointments to help control the number of patients, but they’re often same-day appointments. Some also use an online check-in system, so that you don’t have to wait in person.
But the good news is that you don’t always need to go in person in order to speak to a doctor. WalkInVirtualClinics can help you speak to a doctor from the comfort of your home, with all the convenience and urgency of a walk in clinic.