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Dissatisfaction with booking clinic appointment

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Sunny South News

Dear Mr. Copping:

My family doctor recommended I have some bloodwork done at the local walk-in clinic in Picture Butte (Pyami Health Center).  I was given an 833 number (1-833-572-0573) to make an appointment. (The doctors nurse faxed the notice to the clinic) One used to be able to take the doctor’s form directly to the clinic and get service. Not today, sad to say.

Called the 833 number and going through the usual menu, push 2 for blood work, pleasant music, followed by a voice telling me that I’d be on hold for ten minutes, but, please, stay on the line. Well, I thought the clinic was only minutes from where I live and hung up to drive to the clinic to make an in-person appointment.

Arrived at the clinic, masked. Nobody in sight until a young fellow came to the counter and enquired about what I was here for and if I had an appointment. No, but I want to make an appointment. He excused himself to check with the lab technician. He came back and told me that I needed to call the 833 number and book an appointment. I was really taken aback by that. Got home and tried 833 again and connected with a nurse in Oyen, AB and she booked the appointment.

With this set up, AHS is really discouraging the use of the clinic which is so vital since we lost our hospital decades ago.  My suspicion is there is a concerted effort underway to eventually close the clinic because it is so underused. The Gov’t is promoting cutting “red tape”, especially for business. However, how about applying the same philosophy to the health care system, especially in Rural Alberta?

I and so many other residents in the area have used the clinic (pre-COVID) because of being on warfarin, to thin my blood and once a month a sample is needed to be taken.  No appointment needed — just wait your turn. Now, as noted above, not a soul was there but no service unless you book an appointment first via 833.  That’s not accommodating to the public, but rather frustrating the public — health wise, it’s better to fore come then overcome.

Please, Mr Minister do something about it! Speed is of the essence in this case.  Eagerly awaiting your reply.   Yours respectfully,  Henry Heinen, a 79 year old senior.

CC:  Picture Butte Chamber of


Henry Heinen 

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