(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / jirsak)(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / jirsak)

Local family health team warns of impending staff shortages

The Mount Forest Family Health Team is warning that they could soon cut back services due to staffing shortages.

In a release, the health team says due to the latest wave of COVID-19 cases, the health team is "feeling the same staff shortages and workload pressures that most employers are feeling now."

They say if case counts continue surging, they may face staffing shortages due to employee sickness, which may cause them to have to cancel certain services.

To help with information sharing, the FHT is updating the options on their phone system so that people may choose a topic and listen to a repeating message with information about that topic.

The Mount Forest Family Health Team says to help with call volumes, they're asking people to call and leave only one voicemail and not continue calling several times a day. The team says they have to prioritize their work on any given day, and they will address everyone's needs based on urgency of cases.

“We do not take the decision to cancel services lightly. We know that it has an impact on the lives of our patients when we have to delay services and we worry when we are not able to meet your expectations. We also care about our team members. We need to make sure that they stay available to provide care today and into the future. So, we must manage the pressures put upon them each day at work,” said Dr. Alex Goytisolo, Claire Stewart Medical Clinic Physician Lead.

Test Results: The team reviews all test results received. If the test needs follow up, the team will call the patient. A small number of people call several times asking if their results are now available. Each message must be listened to by a team member to ensure it is not an urgent matter. These repeated messages take valuable time that our team members could be using to deal with more urgent issues.

Medications: Please re-order your medication at least 3 business days before you get to your last pill. If we are ordering a new medication or changing a medication for you, especially if it was arranged over the phone, the communication from our office to the pharmacy will not be instant. We process dozens of prescriptions every day. Please be patient. And make sure that the pharmacy looks in their computer as well as on the fax machine. More and more we are using digital communication rather than paper.

When we cancel a visit: We do not cancel appointments without a significant reason. Our team members get sick, have family emergencies, and have emergencies with other patients come up just like anyone else does. If we can, we will have another team member keep your appointment or talk with you about ways to manage your situation while you wait for the next available appointment. We know this is frustrating and we avoid it as much as we can.

Read More Local Stories