Local family physicians and nurse practitioners in Penticton are adding a new patient service option to their arsenal in the form of an outdoor assessment centre.
Patients seeking in-person appointments can make an appointment to see a care provider at the tented location in the McLaren Park Arena parking lot.
The site is not a COVID-19 testing site, but rather a place for a physician or nurse to assess patients' immediate needs.
Patients will need to call their family medicine clinic or walk-in clinic with their concerns. If a video or phone appointment will suffice, that will be booked. If not, they may be referred to an appointment at the assessment centre, operated by the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice and sponsored by the City of Penticton.
"I'm seeing patients by phone and by video, but this centre gives us a good option for those who need an in-person visit with a primary care provider," said Dr. Greg Sellinger, SOS Division of Family Practice board chair.
"It's safer for us and, importantly, a safer environment for patients."
Mayor John Vassilaki praised the venture.
"During a time when COVID-19 is creating considerable concern for the health and wellbeing of our residents, the creation of an appointment assessment centre here in Penticton by local family physicians and nurse practitioners will provide further assurance that additional supports are available for those that need them," he said.
COVID-19 testing is being done by referral only at the Penticton Public Health Centre.