Two Kamloops pharmacies might hold the key to curbing the city's doctor shortage
By Glynn Brothen
Image Credit: Shutterstock
February 16, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Two pharmacists in town are adding a new service to their locations in hopes of improving healthcare services for Kamloops patients.
Downtown’s Kipp-Mallery Pharmacy and Kleo’s Pharmacy Remedy’sRX in Valleyview are both installing equipment so patients can video chat with a B.C. physician, eliminating the need to wait at a walk-in clinic or book an appointment with a family doctor.
"We’re pretty excited about it,” Kipp-Mallery owner Kristina Gifford says. "It’s a win-win for everybody. It will help a lot of those people who just can’t get a physician; there just isn’t enough in our town."
Pharmacist Kleo Dimopoulos echoes Gifford’s sentiment.
"This is an idea that appealed to me. I was thinking I could support the community and recognize our pharmacy as well with something unique, something different. (It) definitely has potential to help our community,” he says.
Both Dimopoulos and Gifford say they hear patients complain daily of their inability to see a doctor or they ask if they can have an emergency prescription. Dimopoulos says one out of three of his patients rely on physicians at walk-in clinics as their family doctor.
“We get asked multiple times a day if there’s any doctors taking patients (or) where can they find a physician,” Gifford says.
Around Christmas, both pharmacy owners were approached by a telemedicine company called Medview MD. The company employs physicians who will take patient calls from both locations. A nurse will be on site to assist patients with the video equipment and take medical information, including vitals to supply to the doctor.
From there, patients can secure their prescription and fill it on site, turning both locations into a one-stop shop offering both a doctor’s visit and prescription refill.
Dimopoulos says the cost is not government subsidized and will be an investment for the pharmacy. Both locations will be renting the equipment from Medview MD, but expect to see an increase in clientele.
Both locations expect to have the service up and running by the end of March, once nurses are hired and the installation of the equipment is complete.
To see how the equipment works, watch the video below.
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