If you don’t have a family doctor, the Yukon government wants to know.
The territory has launched an online registry this week to track the number of people who don’t have a family doctor.
“We know that there are a large number of Yukoners without a family physician and that people are going to the emergency room for minor health issues because they don’t have a doctor, but we don’t have any hard data to support these claims,” said Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham in a release. “We hope people will go to this website (http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/patientregistry.php) and tell us what their situation is.”
Right now no one actually knows how many Yukoners lack a doctor.
Numbers are bandied about but all of it is anecdotal, said Patricia Living, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services.
“We don’t have any hard data so we’re hoping that this is one way to at least give us some of those numbers,” she said.
Last month the Yukon government announced an expansion of its physician recruitment and retention initiative, so good timely data is especially important.
“If we’re going out looking for doctors we need to know how many we need,” said Living.
Along with the website, the government is also putting ads in newspapers that people can clip out, fill out and mail in.
It’s also reaching out to various NGOs in an effort to connect with their clients.
“We’re trying to be as inclusive as we can,” said Living.
The campaign will be ongoing.
“We’ll keep it running for as long as we need and we’ll determine that as we go along,” said Living. “We’re going to play it by ear.”