It is hoped Kelowna will not lose any doctors with the sudden closure of the Prime Medical Clinic.
Patients attached to the large clinic were informed last week that the site was closing, with little explanation and just a few days of notice.
Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice physician lead Dr. Christine Hoppe told Castanet in an email Tuesday the division is working with every doctor who has asked for assistance in finding a new practice location.
“Options include joining other established practices or setting up new practices. Our recruitment and retention team has been working tirelessly to support the affected physicians,” Hoppe said.
“At a time when we are already facing a dire shortage of family physicians in our community, this is vital work. We sincerely hope every affected physician will continue to practice in our community and that no patients will lose access to care.”
She said the division understands that every physician from the affected clinic is seeking opportunities to continue to practice in Kelowna and no individual practice closures have been announced.
Patients attached to a doctor at the clinic are encouraged to contact them directly if they have questions. Impacted physicians have been able to access their patient records, Hoppe noted.
“As an organization that supports family doctors and their patients in the Central Okanagan, we recognize the impact of this sudden clinic closure, and sincerely empathize with the patients who are affected,” she said. “Our Division of Family Practice is working hard to support the affected physicians and their patients and to minimize further disruptions for all involved.”
Prime Medical, located on Tutt Street in Kelowna’s Mission area, offered a network of medical and health services. According to Prime's website, the pharmacy and walk-in clinic opened its doors at the start of 2022. Prime Walk-In was formerly called Mission Medical.
Financial challenges appear to be the most likely culprit for the clinic’s closure. Public court records show foreclosure proceedings were opened earlier this year against clinic owner, Brandt Fralick, in relation to an unrelated property.
The Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice shared the following options for people who cannot see their family doctor or who do not have one:
-Visiting Health Link BC or calling 811 for health information and advice
-Visiting medimap.ca for information on local walk in clinics
-Speaking to a local pharmacist regarding minor ailments and medications
-Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Kelowna and West Kelowna