Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need to pay for Services offered at the Health Centre?
Some of the services are covered by your Medical Plan or your individual Health Insurance plans. There is no charge for Medical Services if you are covered by the BC Medical Plan. Many of the practitioners will charge a professional fee for services not covered by existing plans. Lab collection, nursing and counselling services are all provided as part of Provincial programs without specific cost for treatment.

Do I need to go off-Island to get blood work done?
No. We have an excellent Lab Technician who draws blood samples and arranges for them to be sent for analysis to Victoria. Results are then sent back to the Medical Clinic so you usually don't need to leave the Island for the majority of you tests. There will be time when specialized testing requires you to go to Victoria.

What Happens If I Need To Be Sent Off-Island for Treatment
The Ambulance staff will usually bring the patient to the Health Centre for diagnosis and treatment. If the patient requires off -Island treatment, the BC Ambulance Service has an arrangement to transfer patients to Vancouver Island by Ferry or water taxi, or in the case of extreme emergency will call for air evacuation of the patient to an appropriate hospital facility in Victoria or Vancouver. Turn around time is usually 20 minutes or less.

What Happens If I Require Emergency Medical Treatment
The 2 doctors on the Pender Islands are part of an on-call pool with doctors on Galiano and Mayne and together they provide emergency coverage for everyone on-the Southern Gulf Islands, whether a patient of the Medical Clinic, a part time resident with a Doctor elsewhere, or a visitor to the Island. Call 911 in case of an emergency, and the dispatch will call the Ambulance as well as Doctor on call to respond. Usually you are met at the Emergency Treatment Room by one of the physicians however there will be times especially during the weekend when a Doctor from one of the other Islands may be on call, and they will triage with the Ambulance staff to help diagnose the situation and recommend the most appropriate response.

Can Anyone Go To The Medical Clinic
The Medical Clinic offers a general family practice and is open to all residents of North and South Pender. In order to become a patient of the Health Centre you need to register and receive your primary care from the Health Centre. You cannot have a family physician off-Island as well. When you become a patient of the Health Centre, you will usually be seen by one of the Physicians or the Nurse Practitioner. You can usually be seen quicker by agreeing to see the Nurse Practitioner and she arrange longer visitations. The Nurse Practitioner is capable of most routine medical procedures, and will arrange for you to see a Physician if the scope of practice is greater than what she is trained for. Wait time for appointments is generally less than 2 weeks for non emergent situations, and you can usually be seen right away in case of emergency.

When is the Health Centre open?
The Medical Clinic is open from 9:00 am to noon, and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily Monday through Friday. The health centre is usually from 8 or 9 in the morning till 5 to 6 in the evening depending on the day and which practitioners are on site. As well the healing arts practitioners often see clients on weekends, and the Doctors will respond to emergencies as they occur. You can see the regular office hours for each practitioner and program under the specific service heading.

Where is the Health Centre located?
The Pender Islands Health Care Centre is located at 5715 Canal Road, across from the Elementary School, and between the turn off to Magic Lake Estates, and the bridge linking North and South Pender.