FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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GENERAL

+ What is a Community Health Centre?

Community Health Centres (CHC) offer health services through combined-health disciplines in a non-profit or coop organization, with direct input from the local community. All CHCs share the following attributes:

  • Provide Team-Based, Interprofessional Primary Care
  • Integrate Diverse Health and Social Services
  • Are Community-Centred
  • Actively Address Social Determinants of Health
  • Are Committed to Health Equity and Social Justice

For more information check out the website of the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres

+ What are your opening hours?

Each of our departments have different hours to serve our patients. These hours are shown on our Hours page

+ How do you get to REACH on Public Transit?

Reach is located at 1145 Commercial Drive, between Napier and William Streets. The number 20 bus stops a block away, and will take riders south to the Broadway-Commercial Skytrain Station, or northwest along to Hastings street and into downtown Vancouver. For more information on planning your journey, look at the Translink Trip Planner.

+ Do you have parking?

REACH does not have an dedicate client parking. However, there is metered parking available in front of the REACH Centre on Commercial Drive. There is also free parking on the side streets off Commercial Drive.

MEDICAL CLINIC

+ Is the medical clinic accepting new patients?

REACH is aware that many people in our area are looking for a family physician. Unfortunately, we are not in a position accept new patients at this time. However, REACH does accept patients that are referred by other health agencies. Agencies may refer patients by contacting us for a a referral form at applications@reachcentre.bc.ca

URGENT AND PRIMARY CARE CENTRE

+ Why create an Urgent Primary Care Centre at REACH?

REACH UPCC will support people in East Vancouver who would otherwise have no other option than to go to the emergency department and will help patients who do not current have a regular family physician or nurse practitioner find the care they need.

+ How will the UPCC operate?

REACH UPCC will incorporate a team-based care approach through a clinical team comprised of general practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, licensed practical nurses, a clinical pharmacist and medical office assistants.

REACH UPCC will work to connect people who don’t have doctors to health-care providers for their ongoing health care needs and offer urgent care to people who already have care providers but cannot get a timely appointment. This should lead to better coordinated and more effective patient care.

+ How many patients will REACH UPCC serve?

The team-based centre will provide care for more than 37,000 additional patient-visits each year. It will operate with extended hours for urgent and primary care services as well as care for those who need access to primary care during and outside standard hours.

+ What primary care services will be offered?

If people have conditions that are not life-threatening but need to be addressed within 12-24 hours, visiting an urgent primary care centre is appropriate.

REACH UPCC will be open to everyone with an urgent injury or illness, including those who are unattached.

With the most urgent patients seen and cared for first, examples of injuries and illnesses to be treated at the new UPCC include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Cuts, wounds or skin conditions
  • High fever
  • Infections including chest, ear and urinary tract
  • Asthma attacks
  • New or worsening pain
  • Dehydration/Constipation
  • Less serious child illness and injury

The UPCC won’t replace emergency departments for life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, stroke, major trauma and acute psychiatric care. It also won’t replace a person’s family doctor, nurse practitioner or Community Health Centre care provider as their first point of contact for non-emergency care and non-urgent care.

+ When will the UPCC be operating?

The UPCC will initially operate out of the existing space on the 2nd floor and transition to a new permanent space in the same building once renovations are complete.

It will be staffed to provide some urgent primary care services as of early August and will be fully operational and welcoming patients in its new space in October 2019.

+ Does the UPCC offer medical imaging (X-ray)?

No, but there is a diagnostic imaging facility down the street which UPCC patients will be able to access with appropriate referral.

+ Can I use the UPCC if I live outside of East Vancouver?

REACH UPCC is designed to serve East Vancouver residents however, REACH UPCC will not refuse care based on where people reside.

+ What is the difference between a UPCC and walk-in clinics?

Urgent and primary care centres provide urgent, non-emergency care to people who need medical attention within 12-24 hours. They also provide a broader range of services than those available at walk-in clinics. In addition, urgent and primary care centres see patients according to urgency, therefore, those who need to receive care quickly will be seen first and offer extended hours of operation in the evening and on weekends. They bring together a team of health care professionals, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practice nurses, mental health and substance use clinicians, social workers and pharmacists to provide comprehensive care to patients.

They also provide temporary attachment to patients who do not currently have a regular care provider, and then work to connect them to permanent providers as capacity opens up within a broader primary care network. For patients who do already have a regular provider, they will link back with that provider after the patient’s visit, to ensure that all of the relevant information is shared and there are no gaps in care.

DENTAL CLINIC

+ Can the dental clinic give me a quote for the cost of my dental treatment before my initial appointment?

While the clinic can advise you of the cost of your initial checkup ahead of time, we cannot quote how much treatment will cost. During your checkup our dentists will carry out a comprehensive assessment of your oral health and recommend any necessary treatment. Once they have assessed your teeth, we will then be able to give you a cost estimate for your treatment.

+ Does REACH dental offer payment plans for dental work?

As we are a non-profit health clinic, REACH is currently unable to offer payment plans. However, we do take both Visa and Mastercard, as well as debit and cash.

+ Can I book my dental appointment online?

At the moment, only our medical clinic is able to accept appointment bookings online. However, we are hopeful we will have an online booking option for our dental clinic sometime in the future. We will notify all our patients of this option if it becomes available.

+ Can I volunteer at the REACH dental clinic?

Yes, REACH regularly takes dental students as volunteers at the clinic. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the dental mananager at dental@reachcentre.bc.ca for an application form.

PHARMACY

+ What Services does your Pharmacy offer?

REACH Pharmacy offers prescription and over-the-counter medication services, compounding and blister packing, both basic and clinical medication counselling, injections, free delivery, and medical device demonstration. REACH Pharmacy accepts payment by most major credit cards, debit (both by tap if preferred), most direct-bill insurance plans, cash and cheque. REACH Pharmacy also has a subsidy to help qualified families receive medication at low- to no-cost, depending.

While REACH Pharmacy offers all of the usual services that do most Canadian community pharmacy, we are unique in that we can work directly and in conjunction with any of the REACH health care departments to offer a markedly comprehensive outcome – generally, this is referred to as multi-disciplinary. But, in our day-to-day practice we find ourselves engaged in patient care that transcends simply filling in the blanks. Rather, we strive to find those blanks that our clients may not have known or realised need filling.

+ What is BC Fair PharmaCare?

BC Fair PharmaCare is British Columbia Ministry of Health's branch of Health Insurance BC's (HIBC) pharmacy benefits program. Fair PharmaCare exists to provide BC residents, who are registered under the Medical Services Plan, with coverage on many eligible pharmacy services (EPS). These services include the cost of prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as medical devices. Not all pharmacy products are covered – you can visit the BC PharmaCare Formulary Search to determine if a medication that you have been prescribed or recommended is covered. You can visit the Medical Devices and Supplies Coverage website for its coverage details.

Coverage under the Fair PharmaCare program depends on a family’s net income. In 2019, HIBC adjusted the income thresholds in favour higher fixed incomes and by lowering deductibles for all incomes within those thresholds.

Visit How Your Coverage is Calculated to find details on income thresholds, deductibles, family maximums, and calculating your deductible and family maximum amounts online.

+ What is an insurance deductible?

Some public and private health insurance plans require the client to pay an initial amount at the start of each year. This is called a deductible. For example, if you have a deductible of $100, then any eligible pharmacy services (EPS) covered by your insurance plan are paid by you up to $100, after which your plan starts to discount your EPS costs.

+ What is an insurance copay?

When your public or private insurance plan covers a portion of the cost of eligible pharmacy services, the remaining portion that you pay is called a copay.

MULTICULTURAL FAMILY CENTRE

+ Do I need an appointment to talk to someone in the MFC?

No, you do not need an appointment to come and talk to our health promoters in the MFC. Make sure to check the operating hours of the MFC on our hours page, to make sure the MFC is open.

+ Do I need to speak English to access services at the MFC?

No, we provide programs and services in Vietnamese, Spanish, Tigrinya, Amharic, Arabic, Swahili, as well as English. Interpretation and translation are provided free of charge as necessary.

+ How can I sign up for MFC programs?

Please drop in the office and we will help you to register for programs

+ Do I need to be a Canadian citizen to access programs?

No, you just need to have legal status in Canada

+ Do I need to pay to attend programs?

No there is no cost to attend MFC programs.