Winter 2023-2024 - COVID-19 and Influenza Infections
Both COVID-19 and Influenza are circulating to a very high degree in our community at the present time. If you or someone in your household currently has symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, you should assume that there is a very high likelihood that one of these viruses is the cause. For helpful information and guidance, please see Respiratory Tract Infections: When to see a Doctor in the Ask Your Doctor drop-down menu as well as updated information about COVID-19 in the drop-down menu at the top of our website.
Holiday Office Hours
Monday December 25 and Tuesday December 26 - CLOSED
Wednesday December 27 to Friday December 29 - Open regular office hours
Monday January 1 - CLOSED
Tuesday January 2 onward - Open regular office hours
Flu Shots - Fall-Winter 2023
We will be offering seasonal influenza vaccinations for high risk individuals during the month of October and for everyone else starting in November. We have a suupply of high dose vaccines available for individuals aged 65+ and regular doses for all other ages (6 mo+). Appointments are required for flu shots and can be booked through My Health Access or by calling the office. We will not accept drop ins.
Children under 9 years of age who have never received a flu vaccine before will require 2 doses of the vaccine, given one month apart, in order for the child to receive adequate protection against influenza. Please remember to bring your child in for their second dose!
Please note we are still not offering COVID-19 vaccinations at this time, but they are readily available at many pharmacies for all individuals age 6 mo+. Please ensure that you have received all the doses that you are eligible for in order to receive maximum protection against COVID-19! If you are unsure about the current guidelines, you may speak with your pharmacist, or book an appointment to discuss with your doctor.
Office E-mail hacked October 23, 2023
Unfortunately our office e-mail was hacked by an unknown and unauthorized user, and mass emails were sent out to a large number of people in our contact list. The email is below. We know that other people have been hacked by this same scammer, and it is uncertain how they gained access. We sincerely hope that people did not respond to this email, and we are sorry if any untoward outcomes have ensued. Please be rest assured that only our email was hacked, and NOT our electronic medical records, so there is no risk to the integrity of your medical records.
As a reminder, always be suspicious of any email that appears unusual in any way. If you ever receive a suspicious email claiming to be from someone you know, the best action is to contact the person immediately using a different means of communication (eg. telephone, text etc) to determine if the email was legitimate, and DO NOT respond to the suspicious email or click on any links!
Thank you for your understanding of this difficult situation that cannot always be prevented even when following the recommended security precautions.
-------- Original message --------
Date: 2023-10-23 9:47 a.m. (GMT-08:00)
Subject: check in
Hello, i trust you are well
Ѕоггу tо bоthег уоu, рlеаѕе dо уоu uѕе аmаzоn??
Online Booking/Video Chat Update - Dec 1, 2022
As of December 1st, the Ministry of Health implemented new rules for virtual care. As a result of these changes, we have had to change the way in which we offer virtual appointments to our patients. Effective immediately, these are the conditions that must be met in order for a patient to have a virtual visit with the doctor:
1. A PATIENT MUST HAVE BEEN SEEN IN PERSON IN THE OFFICE WITHIN THE PREVIOUS 24 MONTHS IN ORDER TO HAVE A VIRTUAL APPOINTMENT BOOKED. This is because the government is of the belief that comprehensive care cannot be provided to patients without at least periodically seeing them in person. The government will no longer pay doctors the regular visit fees for virtual appointments if the patient has not been seen at least once in person within the past 2 years.
2. ONLY VIDEO VIRTUAL VISITS WILL BE BOOKED. This is because the government is no longer giving full payment to doctors for telephone-based medical care, because it is believed that doctors cannot provide the same quality of care by telephone as they can with in-person or video face to face visits.
All of our virtual appointments will be done via video chat on My Health Access, and more information about this can be found on the Online Booking page.
If both of the above requirements cannot be met, you will have to come into the office for appointments. We realize that this will be inconvenient for some people and we do wish we could run things differently, but unfortunately we are unable to change the rules that the Ministry of Health has created.
Waterloo Wellington Regional Hospitals Imaging Referrals - July 4, 2022
Hospitals in the region are critically understaffed with registered Technologists and Sonographers and as a result have had to reduce the capacity of some outpatient services. Any non-urgent imaging service will have extended wait times. Current extended wait times are up to 6 months for:
· Non-urgent ultrasounds referrals (eg. Screening for hepatoma)
· Non-urgent (Priority 4) CT referrals (eg. follow-up ground glass nodule in lung)
· Non-urgent (Priority 4) MRI referrals (eg. lumbar back pain).
· Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP)/non-OBSP mammography screening
The Waterloo-Wellington hospitals will also be redirecting patients amongst themselves to whichever site has the earliest appointment availability. As a result, you may be contacted to attend your imaging test at any of the Waterloo-Wellington Regional Hospitals. If you have a preference for a specific institution and decline to redirect to another location, it will result in a longer wait time.
Another change is that the majority of appointments will only be booked within 7-14 days of available capacity (i.e. your referral will remain on the waitlist until there is an available appointment within the next 2 weeks). Because of this change, in most cases you will be contacted no earlier than 1-2 weeks prior to the appointment time with that information. If you need to change your appointment time you must do so with the site directly, but please be aware this could significantly extend your wait time due to the lack of available appointments.
My Health Access (Online Booking) Update - June 14, 2022
Unfortunately due to a number of issues we have had to disable the ability to register dependents under a main My Health Access account. While it was creating confusion around booking appointments and setting up accounts for some, the main concern arises from the fact that we cannot see dependents on our end. This means we have no way to know when someone has been listed as a dependent, and have no way to approve or deny this access. There are certain situations where it is imperative that we have the ability to override and deny/remove a dependent from an account for the safety and wellbeing of that individual.
The My Health Access system has no age limit for registering a dependent, and while this is great for persons with disabilities or elderly couples who share one email, it poses an issue when a child reaches the age of majority and takes control of their own health care, or when someone registers a competent spouse/partner under their account. Since we have no way to see dependents, the main account can retain a family member as a dependent without their knowledge or consent and be able to make/cancel appointments under their name and have access to their appointment history. This is a grave breach of patient confidentiality and in some delicate situations can put that individual at risk of harm. Since we have no way to see or police this, we cannot have the dependent system enabled.
If this changes with a future system update then we may be able to reactivate dependent registration and booking, however until then a separate account is needed for each individual. As a reminder, please make sure you are booking under the account of the person who needs the appointment, so that the doctor will have their chart readily accessible at the time of their appointment.
Mask Policy Update - June 14, 2022
Although mask use is no longer mandatory for healthy individuals, we encourage everyone to wear a mask while in our office to protect our high risk patients. However, if you have a cough (even if it is from a chronic/non-infectious condition) or any infectious disease we will still ask you to wear a mask the entire time you are in our office.
This allows us to protect our vulnerable patients from exposure to infectious diseases that may not be serious for healthy individuals, but for the very young, elderly, and immunocompromised may be debilitating or even fatal.
We thank you for your ongoing resilience, commitment to community and support to our office and staff as we navigate this pandemic together.
Phone System Update - June 8, 2022
We have switched our phones over to a call queue system. This system allows us to have callers be placed on hold for a short time while waiting for a line to become available to take their call. It also means callers will now hear a menu during office hours. Calling after hours will send you to voicemail as before.
If you are calling during office hours, you will have the option to be transferred through to reception, or directly leave a message instead. If the maximum number of people in the queue has already been reached, you will be transferred to voicemail. Likewise, if a line does not become available within 3 minutes of your call entering the queue, you will be transferred to voicemail.
Prescription Renewal Update - May 16, 2022
As of May 16, 2022, fax renewals for prescriptions are no longer offered by Dr Wright. Dr Wright will now renew prescriptions by appointment only, EXCEPT for individuals age 65 and over, people living in assisted/congregate living situations, or for select individuals who have made prior arrangements with the doctor (i.e. pre-existing yearly renewal agreement).
If you would like to renew your prescription please contact the office to book an appointment or self-book online.
Payment Policy Update - May 16, 2022
As of May 16, 2022, payment for uninsured services is required upfront, unless direct permission has been obtained from Dr Wright to defer payment to a later date. See our Payment Policy page for more information.
We do not accept credit/debit. Payment must be made by cash, cheque, or e-transfer.