Potentially taking pressure off emergency department at Winchester District Memorial Hospital
You must be an ‘urgent care’ case
WINCHESTER — Dr. John Burke’s medical practice here is indeed open to all “urgent care” walk-ins on Tuesday evenings, 5 to 7:30 p.m., including individuals currently without a doctor.
“As long as it’s an urgent matter and not used as a replacement for a family physician,” confirms the Dr. Burke’s officer manager Rebecca Schwerdtfeger.
Urgent conditions are those requiring medical assistance within 12 hours, things like “strep-throat, pneumonia and urinary tract infections,” she explains, adding the service is intended to reduce wait times at Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, which otherwise draws after-hours cases and people lacking a family doctor.
Located in the Foodland mall at the west end of the village, Dr. Burke’s clinic normally caters to his own patients exclusively, by appointment.
Dr. Burke’s medical practice partners Dr. Oussama Fares and Dr. Sampa Das — still operating out of the practice’s old location on Albert Street — have similarly rolled out “walk-in clinics” but limited to their own patients as a group: Monday evenings for Dr. Fares and Friday evenings for Dr. Das.
Schwerdtfeger concedes Dr. Burke initially intended to take the same limited approach as his colleagues — as announced in a notice posted on the clinic door last month — but recently opened up his walk-in period to all urgent care cases after some confusion on social media. Because the practice is classed as a “family health organization, it is mandated by the government that they hold after-hours clinics,” she said.
The new service may well represent the first time in living memory that North Dundas has had walk-in access to a doctor beyond the emergency department at WDMH. Walk-ins requiring urgent care must present a valid Ontario health card.
Schwerdtfeger invites the public with additional questions to call 613-774-2730.