FAQs - Niagara North Family Health Team FAQs - Niagara North Family Health Team
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Frequently Asked Questions

Something urgent has come up and I think I need to be seen as soon as possible. What should I do?

Call your doctor’s office. If it is during regular office hours (i.e., Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm), you may be able to get an appointment with your own doctor. All doctors in the group keep some appointments open each day for “same day” issues. If your doctor is not able to see you, you may be able to be seen by a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or a family medicine resident. If there are no more appointments with these providers, then we have an “After Hours Clinic” for patients of the Family Health Team.

Where is the After Hours/Urgent Care Clinic?

After Hours policies are different depending on whether you are a St. Catharines or Niagara-on-the-Lake patient. See After Hours for more information.

Can I come to the After Hours Clinic to get my medication renewals?

The After Hours Clinic is intended for urgent medical issues that cannot wait until the next time your own provider is available. Issues such as a high fever, urinary tract infection, new cough, sick child can be handled appropriately in the After Hours Clinic. Medication renewals are best managed by your own health care provider during regular office hours. If you are unsure if your problem is appropriate for the After Hours Clinic, call your doctor’s office. For life and death emergencies, call 911. For medical emergencies such as chest pain or shortness of breath, go to the ER.

Can I just go to a walk-in clinic?

Our FHT tries to provide the best care possible to our patients. We feel that we can do that if you come to us for all of your primary care needs. With our electronic records, health care providers will have access to your medical history, medications and allergies. This will allow for a better ability to diagnose conditions and for safer prescribing of medications. Also, your clinic visit will be recorded in your own medical record and become part of your history. This will not happen if you go to a walk-in clinic.

What is a Family Health Team?

A Family Health Team is an approach to primary health care that brings together different health care providers to co-ordinate the highest possible quality of care for you – the patient. Designed to give doctors support from other complementary professionals, most Family Health Teams will consist of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who work collaboratively, each utilizing their experience and skills so that you receive the very best care, when you need it, as close to home as possible. For more information, visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.

How do I get travel immunizations?

The Niagara North FHT does not offer travel immunizations. For more information about travel immunizations please contact (905) 228-6929 or visit Passport Health

What professional disciplines are available at Niagara North?

Nurse Practitioners, Physicians’ Assitant, Chiropody, Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Dietitians, diabetes educators, Psychiatry, Social Workers, Family Doctors, Resident Doctors and administrative staff.

Is this covered by OHIP or do I have to pay?

The services provided to our clients are funded directly through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

What does ‘rostered’ mean?

Niagara North is a Family Health Team. This model of care is a partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to improve healthcare services. Enrollment in the program lets the Ministry of Health know who your family doctor is and who you will be seeing for all of your healthcare needs. This also gives you access to our interdisciplinary team such as dietitians, social workers, NPs and PAs. You will also be able to access our specialty clinics such as INRs and Memory testing.

Why do some doctors not recommend a yearly physical?

Choosing Wisely states:

A periodic physical examination has tremendous benefits; it allows physicians to check on their healthy patients while they remain healthy. However, the benefits of this check-up being done on an annual basis are questionable since many chronic illnesses that benefit from early detection take longer than a year to develop. Preventive health checks should instead be done at time intervals recommended by guidelines, such as those noted by the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination.