July 13, 2024
In some cases in Canada, doctors may face penalties if their patients seek care at walk-in clinics instead of through their primary physician.

Can your doctor dump you as a patient for going to a walk-in clinic?

Seeking prompt diagnosis at a walk-in clinic can be a benefit for patients, sparing them potential wait for a family doctor appointment, especially as many provinces grapple with physician shortages.

However, this convenience can come at a cost for primary physicians who may financially bear the brunt of the decision.

Depending on where you live in Canada, your family physician may be financially penalized if you seek treatment at a walk-in clinic instead of their practice. This may leave some physicians less than pleased after your recent walk-in visit, and could give them reason to dump you as a patient.

“I don’t think patients or members of the public really understand that when they go to a walk-in clinic, their doctor may be losing income,” said Rick Glazier, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Although it may be unusual to fire a patient for receiving care at a walk-in, Glazier told Global News, it’s still possible.

“Is it legal? Is it allowed? Absolutely. But you can’t be discriminatory about it,” he said.

Walk-in clinics offer on-the-spot care, often without prior appointments, catering to immediate medical needs. Family physicians, however, prioritize continuity of care through scheduled appointments, offering a broader range of services tailored to patients’ long-term health needs.

Interesting Read…