Kingston clinic registers 600 new patients with doctors: ‘We work tirelessly’

Click to play video: 'Hundreds line up for chance to get a doctor at Kingston clinic'
Hundreds line up for chance to get a doctor at Kingston clinic
Hundreds of people lined up outside CDK Family Medicine and Walk-In Clinic on Sutherland Drive this week after the clinic announced four doctors would be accepting new patients. Global News' Fawwaz Muhammad-Yusuf has the latest. – Feb 28, 2024

A Kingston clinic says it has registered 600 patients with a doctor after hundreds of people lined for the chance to join the rolls this week.

The latest numbers were reported by CDK Family Medicine and Walk-In Clinic on its website Thursday and come after the clinic held two “rostering days” for potential new patients this week.

The Sutherland Drive clinic announced earlier this month that four doctors would begin accepting new patients in March.

After the clinic reported an “overwhelming response” to its first rostering opportunity Monday, CDK limited the chance to roster to the first 100 waiting in line Wednesday morning.

In a post on its website, the clinic said the move came after staff stayed four hours past the office’s closing time to continue rostering patients Monday.

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“We work tirelessly every day seeing rostered patients, serving unattached patients through our walk-in and booked appointments, while trying to connect 3000-4000 unattached patients to a family doctor,” a statement on the site reads.

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“We have not received government funding for this or any work we do. Therefore it is not feasible to continue at this rate, unless we set clear rostering limits for each CDK Rostering Day.”

Both rostering opportunities saw hundreds of people line up for blocks outside the clinic, with some camping out overnight Tuesday for the chance to be among the first in line Wednesday morning.

In the online statement, the clinic acknowledged some patients were “unhappy about the wait-times” but said there is no automated way to “batch roster” patients.

“Hence rostering through multiple channels — in-person, through HCC, off retired doctors’ lists and through referrals by doctors — is the only way to connect patients quickly to a family doctor.  There is no single way of rostering that would satisfy every individual,” the clinic said.

“We are still learning about how to improve the CDK Rostering Day experience, (but) we are not the cause of the doctor shortages.”

The clinic has said it will hold further rostering days over the next four to six months, although the next dates have yet to be announced.

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The clinic says up-to-date information, including when further roster days will be held and a pre-registration form for perspective patients, is available on its website.

An ongoing doctor shortage in Kingston has left tens of thousands of people without a primary care provider.

The situation was made more dire when six doctors working in the city retired last May, adding more than 8,000 people to the waiting list.

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