HealthLinkBC Files are easy-to-read facts on public health and safety topics. You can download files in:
All of HealthLink BC’s 8-1-1 services are free.
Translation services in more than 130 languages are available upon request.
Dial 8-1-1 or
Dial 7-1-1 TTY (for deaf people) to ask a registered nurse your health questions.
Nurses are available, 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year, to provide non-emergency health information, advice and referral.
You can call 811 to speak to a licensed pharmacist about your medication. HealthLink BC’s Pharmacist Services are available from 9 am to 5 pm every day of the week.
You can also call 811 to speak to a registered dietitian for information about nutrition and healthy eating. Dietitian Services are available from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, or you can email a dietitian with your nutrition questions by visiting: www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating/emaildietitian.html
Kamloops Urgent Care Clinic
4-910 Columbia Street, Kamloops
Monday-Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 9 am – 1 pm
NorKam Walk-in Clinic
374 Tranquille Road
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Summit Medical Clinic
4-1389 Summit Drive at Notre Dame, Kamloops
Monday-Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday/Sunday/Holidays: 10am – 3 pm
Royal Inland Hospital
311 Columbia Street, Kamloops
Visiting hours: 3 pm – 8 pm every day
Parking: $1.50/hour; $6.50/day
The Royal Inland Hospital expansion is on schedule, expected to begin in Spring 2014 and will take about two years to complete.
Downtown X-Ray Clinic
All requisitions accepted
No appointment necessary
107-450 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops (the lower level of the Lansdowne Village Mall)
Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
Making an Appointment with the
MSP (Medical Services Plan):
How can I apply for a BC Health Care number?
Call 1-800-663-7100 (automated 24/7 service), or
Go online at www.health.gov.bc.ca to find Medical Services Plan BC and click on “application.” If you are an individual, then print the form, fill it out and send it in to Medical Services Plan BC. Make sure that you give your name exactly as on all other official documents.
You must register as soon as you arrive in BC. There is a 3-month waiting period before you can get MSP. You should buy private medical insurance for that period of time. In the Yellow Pages, look under Insurance Companies – Other Than Life.
When your MSP coverage begins, you will receive a card in the mail with your name, birth date, photo and Personal Health Number. This is called the BC Services Card. It used to be called the Care Card, and a receptionist in a medical office may call it by either name.
MSP pays for basic, medically necessary health costs, including doctor visits, some medical tests and treatments. Dentists and physiotherapists are not covered by MSP.
Medical Premium Fees
MSP insurance coverage is not free. You must pay a monthly fee (premium). The monthly costs are:
For a single person: $66.50
For a family of two: $120.50
For a family of three or more: $133.00
If you have a job, then MSP premiums may be paid by your employer.
Where can I use my BC Health Care Card?
You can use it for an appointment with a doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at the hospital. If you need to go to a walk-in clinic before you have received your BC Services card, then you must pay for the visit. Keep your receipt, because MSP may pay for part of the cost of the visit.
You will need the BC Services Card when you get prescriptions filled at a pharmacy and when you register your children for school.
What does my BC Health Care program cover?
It covers doctor appointments and hospital costs.
What doesn’t my BC Health Care program cover?
It does not cover dentist or physiotherapist services.
What kind of insurance can I get to help pay for dental treatment?
Extended benefits at your job can help.
How can I negotiate the appointment time?
When you phone the doctor’s office to make an appointment, have your calendar with you, so that you know what days and times you are available. Make sure that you are on time or early.
Doctor Visits/ Appointments:
First, please listen to and read the following about preparing for a doctor’s appointment:
GPs take care of most kinds of medical problems. You can talk with them about emotional problems, nutrition (food issues) and family planning (birth control).
Specialists treat special health problems, such as heart disease. When you are sick or not feeling well, see a family doctor first. If necessary, he or she may send you (refer you) to a specialist. In order to see a specialist, you must be referred by your family doctor.
Talk with Kamloops Immigrant Services for help with finding a doctor who speaks your language.
At the Doctor’s Office:
Always take your BC MSP Services card with you when you go to a doctor.
Make sure that you are on time. If you are very late or miss an appointment, then you may have to pay a fee. This fee is not covered by MSP.
What can I expect when I go to the doctor in Canada?
You will need to give personal information about your health history
A nurse may ask you to put on a gown
The wait time to see the doctor at the office may be a few minutes or more
The length of consultation (time spent with the doctor) may be a few minutes, so be prepared with your questions.
Eye Exams and Glasses
MSP pays up to $46.17 for a routine eye exam by an optometrist:
• for children and youth who are 18 years and younger
• for adults who are 65 years and older
Ask your optometrist about the cost before your eye exam, because some charge more than $46.17.
Extended Benefit Plans at Work
Some people have extended benefit plans at work. They might help pay for eye exams, glasses, and contact lens, as well as dental treatment and physiotherapy.
First Dental Visit
“First dental visit by the first birthday” is the general rule in Canada. It is important for a child to have a “dental home,” a dentist office where he or she is comfortable with a dentist and dental hygienist.
When the first tooth appears, between 6 and 12 months, it is time to visit the dentist. For example, children are at higher risk than adults to get cavities. Their baby teeth are thinner and they eat more frequently than adults. In addition, both milk and fruit juices have sugar. It is not a good idea to give your child a bottle with diluted fruit juice in it, because their baby teeth are in contact with sugar for a longer period of time.
The first visit to the dentist will be the beginning of dental visits every six months. At the first one, especially, the parent is included. The parent faces the dentist and the child while the dentist examines the child’s mouth. It is usual for the child to fuss during the visit. It helps to make the appointment for a time when the child has eaten and rested. Be sure to bring a favorite toy or blanket.
When you talk with your child, even if he or she is only 6 months old, it is important to be positive about the dentist visit. If you are fearful about it, then your child probably will be as well.
Supplementary Health Insurance
Supplementary Health Insurance pays for prescription medications, dental care, physiotherapy and prescription eyeglasses.
You can buy supplementary health insurance directly from private insurance companies, or you may receive it through your employer. Individuals and families who have low incomes may be eligible for it through programs that are offered by the B.C. Ministry of Health.
At the Medical Clinic
Clinics have doctors and nurses. You do not need an appointment beforehand, and you should go to the clinic before it opensin the morning in order to get an appointment later that same day.
Going to the Pharmacy:
As soon as you get your BC Services Card, you should register for prescription drug insurance with PharmaCare. It is a B.C. government program. It may pay some of the costs for prescription drugs that you buy in B.C. You have to be a permanent resident of B.C. and have MSP coverage.
You must have a doctor’s prescription (written permission) to buy prescription drugs (medicines) at a pharmacy (drug store). The pharmacist will explain how often (once a day), when (in the morning; before food) and how long you must take the medicine. Be sure to follow the pharmacist’s instructions exactly.
Read the labels on prescription and over-the-counter drugs and follow the instructions. If you have a question about over-the-counter drugs, then ask the pharmacist or call 8-1-1 and ask to speak to a pharmacist about your medication.
Pharmacies are located in:
1675 Versatile Drive
Glover’s Medicine Centre Pharmacy
10-1380 Summit Drive
945 W. Columbia, Sahali Shopping Centre
Shoppers Drug Mart
1210 Summit Avenue
Hillside Drive and Notre Dame Drive
Columbia Street Pharmacy
112-300 Columbia Street
273 Victoria Street
216-450 Lansdowne Street
477 St. Paul Street
300 St. Paul Street
Pratt’s Compounding Pharmacy
100-321 Nicola Street
49-700 Tranquille Road
374 Tranquille Road
Northshore Pharmacy IDA
517 Tranquille Road
750 Fortune Street, Fortune Shopping Centre
Shoppers Drug Mart
700 Tranquille Road, North Hills Shopping Centre
Shoppers Drug Mart
35-18009 Tranquille Road, Brock Shopping Centre
Shoppers Drug Mart
2121 E. Trans Canada Highway, Valleyview Square
Healthy Kids Program
The B.C. Healthy Kids Program helps low-income families with the cost of basic dental care and prescription eyeglasses for children under 19 years. This help is for families who already have MSP premium assistance. For more information, go to: www.hsd.gov.bc/ca/publicat/bcea/HealthyKids.htm
Visiting the Royal Inland Hospital in an Emergency:
First, please watch the following video on emergencies:
If you have a serious accident or suddenly get very sick, then you should call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department of Royal Inland Hospital. If you need an ambulance, call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance. It will take you to the emergency department of a hospital. MSP will not pay for the ambulance. You will receive a bill for it later. You do not have to pay for hospital costs if you have MSP coverage.
Royal Inland Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are taking prescription medicine, then bring it with you.
The Provincial Language Service provides interpreters in 180 languages. You may receive service over the telephone or in person. This service is free, but can only be booked by your doctor or the hospital.
Royal Inland Hospital
311 Columbia Street
• Be admitted to hospital
Be sure to bring your BC Health Care Card and any prescriptions that you take.
• Go to the emergency department intake desk and tell the nurse about the problem
• Describe the symptoms (where is the pain/problem?)
• Explain what happened (when the pain started or describe the accident)
Sports and Recreation Organizations
Tournament Capital Centre (TCC)
What events are coming to the TCC? To view a schedule of drop-in activities, such as basketball and the indoor track, look at the schedule.
The Tournament Capital Centre has:
An Olympic-length pool (8 lanes X 50m),
A FIFA-certified artificial turf field,
Internationally-acclaimed track and field facilities,
Modern training centre and
Well-equipped gymnastics centre.
The TCC Café offers hot and cold food, including the sandwich bar, fries and burgers. Fresh fruit, protein bars and energy drinks are popular.
Do you have a membership at the Tournament Capital Centre? There may be classes and programs that you can attend. Ask at the Front Counter for more information, or look at the following: Value Added Classes or Fitness Programs Summer 2013.
Tourism Kamloops has created an interactive map of the TCC:
Community rehabilitation and support for people with brain injury.
201B-4412 27th Street, Vernon
Community-based organization that is committed to vision health.
190-546 St. Paul Street, Kamloops
Canadian Cancer Society
Information, resources and support for cancer patients and their families.
Interior Regional Office, Kelowna
202-1835 Gordon Drive (Capri Centre)
Cancer Information Service
Canadian Cancer Society
Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, a home away from home facility for cancer patients while they are accessing treatment at Kelowna Cancer Centre. Freemason Volunteer Drivers (1-800-299-0188) provide transportation to Kelowna Cancer Centre Monday to Friday. Pick up from the Thompson Hotel (address); 24-hour notice required.
2551 Abbott Street, Kelowna
Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada
Supports cardiac rehabilitation, disease prevention and education.
Promotes mental health of all people through education, research and service. Mental illness, which affects a person’s thoughts, emotions and behavior, is experienced by 20% of the Canadian population. It is treatable. Many cultures have beliefs about mental illness. Some cultures believe that:
It is caused by supernatural forces;
It brings shame to the family;
Those who have mental illness should be isolated; and
It should never be discussed.
When people talk about mental illness, it can break a taboo. They are worried that it could be embarrassing or offensive. The taboo is broken when people decide to talk about a topic that they used to avoid.
Provides information and support for people with Parkinson’s Disease.
The support group In Kamloops meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 1 pm at Desert Gardens Seniors Centre (540 Seymour Street)
Safe Cleaning Products:
Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar (the cheapest kind) and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of water. Keep it in a container.
Use it for removing stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar. Pour into the toilet and leave it for a few minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and rinse.
A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.
Mold in the bathroom is a common problem. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on the areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.
Tub and Tile Cleaner
Rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and then rinse with fresh water.
For a more difficult situation, wipe the surfaces with white vinegar first and then with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can destroy the tile grout, so do not use it often.)
Microfiber cloths lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals. A good quality cloth can last for several years.
Marks on Walls and Painted Surfaces
Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda on a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse.
Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (quart) of warm water.
Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean the windows. Only use the black and white newspapers, not the colored ones. Don’t clean the windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, because streaks will show after drying.
Be sure to follow the directions, because using too strong of a solution of vinegar will cut the glass.
For the top of the electric or gas stove (range), refrigerator and other surfaces that should not be scratched, use baking soda. Use baking soda directly with a damp sponge.
Oven Interior Cleaner
Moisten the oven interior surfaces with a sponge and water.
Use 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout the oven interior (avoid bare metal and any openings).
Let it sit overnight. Remove it with a spatula and wipe it clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.
Coffee and Tea Stains
Stains in coffee cups can be removed by using white vinegar on a sponge and wiping.
To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Bring to a boil. Let it cool, and then wipe with a clean cloth and rinse completely with water.
Teakettle Lime Deposits
Put in 1/2 cup (125ml) of white vinegar and 2 cups water, and boil for a few minutes. Rinse well with fresh water while the kettle is still warm.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the stain, let it sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto the spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and white vinegar. Rub the paste into carpet and leave it for a few hours. Vacuum.
For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour it down the drain.
For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup white vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water.
Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener, because the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
• Baking soda or whitevinegar with lemon juice in small bowls helps with odors in the house.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering white vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get fish and onion smells off of utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with white vinegar and wash them in soapy water.
• Keep a bowl with fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
For References, please go to the Kamloops Education section.
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