Shelbourne Medical Clinic – Frequently Asked Questions:

 Click on a question to view the answer. 

When should I come to the Shelbourne Medical Clinic?

Come to the Shelbourne Medical Clinic when you have a problem which you think needs medical attention and you don’t have a doctor or your own doctor is not available to see you. If you have a family doctor, it is preferable to see your doctor who know you and has your medical history. If you think you have a life threatening problem, call 911 immediately and go to the nearest hospital Emergency Department. When you come to the clinic, the receptionist will ask about your problem to assess its severity and urgency. Patients are registered in the order they arrive and are given an approximate time they will be seen. However, if someone comes in with an urgent or life threatening problem, this person will be given priority and will be seen immediately. Please tell the receptionist if you think you have an urgent or life threatening problem. If you think you have a life threatening problem, please go directly to emergency. Do not come to a walk-in clinic. If after being seen by the doctor a transfer to Emergency is required, the doctor will advise you to go to emergency or will call you an ambulance, as appropriate. The doctor will notify the Emergency Department about the nature of your problem and will advise them that you are on your way.

Do you have a doctor available in the medical clinic all the time?

Yes, we have a doctor on duty during all regularly scheduled clinic hours. Please check the doctors’ schedule for any last minute clinic closures. The medical clinic is open at 8:00 a.m. Monday to Friday. We stop registering patients when our appointment spaces are fully booked.

How long will I wait to see a doctor?

This depends on how busy the medical clinic is at the time you arrive.  We strive to keep waiting times as short as possible. However, our doctors will spend as much time as necessary with each person to properly address their problem. Please don’t call to check on the waiting time. The most up to date waiting time is posted on the website but it can change rapidly if a large number of people arrive at once. If there is a wait to see the doctor, we will register you and give you a time when we expect you will be able to see the doctor. For your convenience, once you have registered, you may leave the clinic but please return by the time we give you, so that you don’t lose your place in line. The time we give you is our best estimate of when you will see the doctor. Please note that this time is only an estimate and if people ahead of you have more complicated problems than expected, and take longer, the doctor may not be quite ready to see you at the time you were given. If you are not back by the time you are given and your name is called, you are removed from the list of people waiting to see the doctor. We stop accepting patients in the evening when those registered will take until closing time to be seen. When you are registered, as long as you return by the time you were given, you will be seen by the doctor that evening. If you have multiple.concerns, please tell the doctor at the start, to help decide which one(s) should be dealt with first. We may not be able to address all your concerns in one visit.

How confidential is the information I give the doctor/medical receptionist?

All information you provide to the doctor or medical receptionist is totally confidential. This information stays in your clinic records and will not be disclosed to any other person without your written permission. If you want a friend or family member to know about your health problem, we suggest you bring them with you. If you wish, we’ll send a record of your visit to your family doctor. We’ll need your written permission to do so. If your family doctor has a practice within the clinic, he or she automatically has access to all your records and test results.

Is my visit covered by the Medical Services Plan of B.C.?

Yes, all medically necessary visits are covered by the Medical Services plan as long as you have a valid BC CareCard. Completion of forms is usually not covered by the Medical Services Plan. A private fee applies to forms for driver’s license assessment, work, disability, sick notes, insurance and others.

Can I call the medical clinic to discuss my test results?

When your test results are received at the clinic, they are reviewed by the doctor on duty. We call you only if a result needs to be discussed with you or further testing or treatment is required. Most people will not receive a call. If you wish to discuss your test results, or if your symptoms continue, please call to schedule a follow up appointment. Most test results take 2 to 3 days to be reported to the medical clinic.  Tests such as HIV take about 10 days and pap tests can take up to 6 weeks. Our receptionists are not able to discuss your test results or to provide medical advice. You can access and view your lab results by signing up with My eHealth. You may also request a copy of your test results when you are at the clinic. Please ask the receptionist.

What if need to see a specialist?

If you need to see a specialist,  the doctor will write a referral letter informing the specialist of your problem. When an appointment date is received from the specialist’s office, the clinic will notify you. The length of time it takes to get an appointment with a specialist varies, depending on the nature and severity of your problem and how far ahead the specialist is booked. Specialist appointments are covered by the Medical Services Plan of B.C. if you have a valid B.C. CareCard.

Can I see a specific doctor if I wish?

Yes, you can see a specific doctor. Check the doctors’ schedule to see when that doctor is on duty. Please don’t come in towards the end of the doctor’s shift at the medical clinic.  You may not be seen by that doctor if there are other patients ahead of you.