The Province Newspaper November 6, 2011
There was a time when the family doctor held a very special place in the lives of a growing family.
They were there when your children were born, they helped you navigate the unfamiliar waters of parenthood and they provided comfort and compassionate care in times of illness.
They knew how to keep you healthy and they were understanding and patient as they guided you. They didn’t do Botox, but they wouldn’t hesitate to visit you in the hospital or go the extra kilometre to make sure you received specialist care.
The financial pressures of modern public health care put this style of family doctor on the endangered species list. Doctor shortages caused by governments desperate to control escalating costs gave rise to the walk-in clinic and doctors forced to see 40 or 50 patients in a day in order to serve their community.
The personal touch dwindled. But there is hope.
Copeman Healthcare Centre was the first organization in Canada to develop a medical clinic based on the simple principle of bringing personal and focused family care back to medicine. According to its founder Don Copeman, patients are looking for four basic things:
- Timely and convenient access to quality doctors.
- Unhurried and attentive care.
- Expertise and facilities for early disease detection and preventive medicine.
- Fast access to specialized care when it is needed.
How likely is it we will see more clinics like the Copeman Healthcare Centre? According to a large poll conducted by Decima Research in 2005, about 23 per cent of Canadians said that they would “likely” pay the fees that Copeman charges (approximately $3,000 per year per adult) for a premium health service.