From the Calgary Herald – Options
Friday, September 22, 2017

By: Gerald Vander Pyl

Private health care centres are gaining interest as people look for ways to take charge of their health and that of their families.

Most centres offer yearly memberships to clients that include a comprehensive annual medical checkup, access via telephone or email to physicians 24-hours a days, timely doctor visits, and the expertise of a variety of healthcare specialists.

“The Canadian system is a great blended system already between insured and uninsured services,” says Vince Danielsen, president and chief executive officer of INLIV.

“How we look at it is (private health centres) are really a strengthening of the blended system. They can really give people great choices for care.”

Danielsen says INLIV clients are looked after by a team led by a family physician and includes experts in rehabilitation sport medicine, fitness training, cardiovascular assessments, medical esthetics, health coaching, dietary concerns and other areas of health.

“Our job here is to get a team together and really support people in the process of solving the complex medical conditions that they have.”

Clients receive increased time with a physician, and can see a doctor for several conditions in a single visit, he says, “so you don’t have to come back multiple times.”

Having the additional health care providers all under one roof adds convenience and also a sense of teamwork in solving a client’s health issue. It also allows easy communications between team members, he says.

“Multiple providers can message back and forth on providing a solution together.”

Georgie Weeks, director of operations at Preventous Collaborative Health, says they practice good evidence-based health care, and “we are more proactive rather than reactive. We listen to people, hear what their concerns are, and see people when they need to be seen.”

Weeks says when people book a doctor’s appointment, they want to be seen on time and given the amount of attention they need to go over all their issues and concerns.

As well, if something urgent occurs, “we see them today, and that’s a huge thing for people.”

A key component of membership at most centres is a comprehensive annual medical assessment.

Weeks says their total health assessment includes having the client fill out a 10-page medical history and three-day meal log online before the day of the assessment, followed by comprehensive medical, fitness and nutrition testing.

“When they come back two and a half weeks later they are given a binder with all that information in it. The first part will be an assessment and the second part a plan going forward.”

She adds if someone has a history of diabetes or heart problems in the family, they also make the client aware of things they can do to protect their health.

“We can identify the risk factors, we can make them aware of those, and then we can work together as a team to help reduce (the risks) and keep them healthy.”

Danielsen says ultimately it’s about encouraging people to take care of their health through options like a private health centre.

“What we’re trying to do in our facility is engage people and empower them with the knowledge and the teams and the modalities they can use to create a great life for themselves.”

Weeks adds: “These days people really are more aware that they have to take a bit of ownership of their health, and they’re looking for partners to do that with.”

Original article appeared in the Calgary Herald, Options Section, on Friday, September 22, 2017. Written by Gerald Vander Pyl.