WINNIPEG — Whether your child is running a fever or in need of a few stitches, sometimes getting to a hospital or to your family doctor can mean waiting hours or even days.
Now a new Winnipeg based business is offering patients the options of house calls, for a fee.
Timely Care Clinic, has been operating in Winnipeg for about a month.
The team of four nurse practitioners offer services to treat issues from bladder, ear, and sinus infections to lacerations and infections.
They are able to give stitches and even offer complete physicals, pregnancy tests and pap smears.
However, services are not covered under Manitoba Health. Timely Care Clinic offers a range of services at a cost and patients must pay out of pocket for everything.
House visits are usually $50, while “virtual visits,” which involve a 10 minute online video consultation, are $40, plus any extra fees associated with medical tests.
The company said the goal is to offer a complimentary service to what Manitobans are able to get through hospitals and clinics. It is not a replacement.
While the company and nurse practitioners are legally within their rights, not everyone agrees that the service is a good thing.
The Manitoba Nurses Union said it’s opposed to companies offering private health services and that this could hurt the industry.
“There is already a shortage of nurse practitioners, and companies like this will now poach them from an already stretched thin public system,” Sandi Mowat from the Manitoba Nurses Union said.
A better plan would be to encourage the public to use the existing QuickCare clinics operated by the province to their fullest capacity, she said.