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Virtual clinic in Canada a reprieve for patients as COVID-19 confines many to homes

Sunday June 7, 2020

Dr Salim and his team at Orca Clinic have setup a virtual clinic to treat patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. SUPPLIED

COVID-19 has transformed the world, making what seemed possible, impossible. These dramatic changes in our lifestyle have pushed society to come up with unique solutions in the wake of the pandemic.

The thought of going to a hospital or medical clinic during COVID-19 is daunting to many, but some doctors are working to ensure their patients are receiving the care they need. Dr Salim and his team at Orca Clinic are among doctors turning to virtual clinics to see patients during lockdown orders.

Through the virtual clinic, they can attend to patients while they are in the comfort of their homes in a user-friendly way. To access their services, one needs to visit the website, www.orcaclinic.ca and book an appointment. Once on the site, the patient is a few clicks away from speaking with a physician. The patient would first select the reason for the visit and choose a physician before receiving a callback.

The service is available and free for residents of Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba.

According to Dr Salim, Orca is not exclusively for COVID-19 assessments but also deals with other treatable conditions like sore throat, cough, cold, skin conditions and even mental health.

The website is user friendly, does not require an app or any other tools.

“We have also thought of the elderly population that isn’t too tech-savvy, and we operate a call centre that can help them make an appointment.

Patients can call 1-800-233-0382. The call centre is open Mon-Friday 10 am-4 pm EST,” said Dr Salim.

Dr Salim contends that medical practitioners will emerge in a new world post-COVID-19 and that its time, we adapted to a different way of doing things.

“The way medicine will be practised and how other industries operate will never be the same, so we have to adapt. A virtual clinic is a solution as it allows people the convenience to book from the comfort of their home without having to wait in an infected clinic or ER waiting rooms. It prevents unnecessary hospitalizations and increases patient satisfaction,” Dr Salim told HOL.

Noting that many people are still not willing to leave their homes for simple prescription refills, Dr Salim says that the clinic will assist in social distancing measure as it alleviates the pressure of people going into the ER for non-emergencies.

The virtual clinic operates round the week from 9 am to 9 pm while the call centre can is available from 10 am to 4 pm EST.


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