By John Vidal – ContributorA Henricon doctor’s hospital has become the latest in a string of hospitals in Canada to offer health care workers and patients an alternative to the public health system.
The hospital in Halifax is offering patients free or reduced-price tests and consultations with doctors and nurses for the first time in the province.
It’s a welcome move, said the manager of Henricos doctor’s office, Dr. Karen McGlothlin.
“I think it’s a really important thing that the public is looking at,” McGlochlin said.
McGlochlins staff said the facility has been offering its services to patients for about four years and has seen a drop in the number of hospitalizations and infections.
In the past few months, the hospital has seen its busiest patient load in the last six months, with an average of over 5,500 patients a day, according to data from the Health Canada website.
Henrico doctor’s offices have seen an increase in calls from health care providers since they began offering services at a discounted rate, McGlomys office manager, Dr.
“I don’t think that they were expecting to see this type of response, and I think that is a great thing,” she said.
“They were hoping that they would get some kind of a response that would help them to keep their patients,” McKean said.
The move comes as health care in Canada has become increasingly fragmented and the public does not seem to be getting the same care they were promised.
Henriques health department said it is working with the hospital to make sure that it can continue offering services in its current format, and that the patients and their families are not forced to choose between getting their care at a public hospital or getting their healthcare at the hospital.
“If we do see a decrease in the demand for care, I’m sure we will adjust to make our services more affordable,” said Dr. Paul Cazalet, a department spokesperson.
The Canadian Public Health Association has also called on the federal government to set up a health care commission to improve public health services and ensure that the government and health care organizations can manage their budgets effectively.
The government is not the only organization to try to help patients and health systems.
In Alberta, the province also announced plans to offer free testing for anyone who needs it.