Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Contact Us

Can’t find the answer you were looking for? Here are some places you can get detailed information. Our teams are standing by to help, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Billing and fees

Virtual care supports


604 638 5841

Physician counselling available to you

www.physicianhealth.com

1 800 663 6729

Insurance and benefits


604 638 2904 or toll free at 1 800 665 2262 ext. 2904. 

Communications

Still need help? 

E-mail us with questions and comments

COVID-19 Resources and Support for Physicians

Doctors of BC is taking active steps to support our members with respect to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our work includes: advocacy on behalf of physicians with government, the Provincial Health Officer and health authorities; and ensuring our members have access to appropriate benefits and insurance. 

A dedicated email address has been created to provide members one point of contact for COVID-19 concerns, questions, or comments. Please email .

This page provides physicians with a resource on information from Doctors of BC. 

COVID-19 vaccine information

Latest%20developments%20

COVID-19%20vaccine%20FAQs

Office%20COVID-19%20toolkit

PHO%20briefing%20updates%20

Clinical and Practice Supports

Information for physicians treating patients with long-term impacts from COVID-19

This PHSA site includes information on recovery clinics for patients and resources for physicians.

Getting Patients Back to Practice Guide

Provides step-by-step clinical workflow recommendations, examples of kinds of visits that could be done virtually vs in-clinic, sample communications templates and tips on how to re-build clinical visit volumes through proactive outreach. 

The latest on anti-virals Paxlovid and Sotrovimab

The BC Centre for Disease Control has provided direction that prescribing Paxlovid will be done primarily at doctors’ offices. For information on prescribing, drug interactions, and more, please login to https://pathwaysbc.ca/login. If you don’t have a login, click on the “Request access” button. The ministry’s 5-day treatment pack prescription form is also available on Pathways.

  • What you need to know
    The BCCDC has posted clinical guidelines on these new therapeutics for COVID-19 for mild-moderately ill patients.
  • Health Authority contact list Updated April 26
    How to connect with each Health Authority to access COVID therapies for your mild-to-moderately ill patients. 
  • How to support your patients - Updated April 26
    Learn about what is happening this week and what you can do to support your patients.  
  • Q&As for health care providers Updated April 11
    Information for health care providers on therapeutic options for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients

Webinar recordings

Doctors of BC billing and fee code changes

Temporary billing and fee code changes in response to COVID-19
Doctors of BC and the BC government have agreed on a range of fee code changes to support increased use of virtual care and to address other challenges to patient care resulting from COVID-19. Includes GPSC and SSC changes.

Business Cost Premium expands to include telehealth fees during COVID-19
Effective May 1, the Business Cost Premium (BCP) will be temporarily expanded to apply to telehealth fee items, including phone and video communication with patients. ​

Virtual Care

Doctors of BC: How to Use Virtual Care Guides 
Expanding virtual care allows physicians to provide care remotely and limit the possibility of COVID-19 transmission while ensuring effective primary care coverage. 

Doctors of BC: Support for physician outreach on virtual care
Guidelines, templates and resources for physicians to spread the word about virtual care to patients through communications, social media and local media. 

Zoom licenses available free of charge to BC physicians
Our Doctors Technology Office and the PHSA are providing 10,000 Zoom licenses free of charge to BC physicians for one year.

Insurance, Benefits & Income Supports 

Doctors of BC: Insurance & Benefits During COVID-19
In addition to temporary billing changes, Doctors of BC is supporting physicians and their staff with regards to insurance and benefits claims related to COVID-19.

Physician Health and Wellness 

Physician Health Program: Supports for physicians, trainees, and family members
To support the health and wellbeing of physicians and health care providers during this challenging time, the Physician Health Program has additional resources in place to provide counselling support for everyone who needs it. 

Physician Health Program: Virtual Peer Support Sessions
Starting Tuesday, April 7, PHP will be offering free drop-in COVID-19 Physician Peer Support Sessions via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5pm PST. Email for the link. Join by phone or video. 

Managing Anxiety and Stress in Families with Children and Youth During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The Child & Youth Mental Health & Substance Use (CYMHSU) Community of Practice (funded by Doctors of BC and the BC government) provides information and advice on managing anxiety and stress in families with children and youth during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

External Resources on Physician Health and Wellness:

COVID FAQs

Telemedicine

Doctors are being encouraged to see patients via telemedicine when possible, and in person when the situation warrants it. To help, we have compiled a list of virtual care resources and supports: New guides for physicians on using virtual care

We also encourage physicians to reach out to complex care patients, check in on their conditions, and have advance care planning conversations – these are all billable services and a good way to support patients during this difficult time.

 

Billing changes

Doctors of BC and the BC government have agreed on temporary billing changes to enable physicians to better utilize virtual care, reducing the need for people to attend physician offices in person. New, temporary fee codes have also been introduced to address added costs of treating patients with COVID-19 in physician offices.

 

Available Federal/Provincial Support Financial Supports

A number of physicians are asking about access and criteria for federal and provincial financial supports. Given each physician has different circumstances, we are directing physicians to some helpful resources developed by MD Management. This includes: 

  • Covid Support Measures: At a Glance (a guide to relevant supports based on your career stage and your practice type, with a link specifically to BC measures ), and
  • Take the quiz located at the top of this page designed to tailor to your practice type  
It is important to remember that these resources are only meant as a guide. Because each physician’s situation is different, and the benefits themselves are still evolving – we recommend that physicians consult their accountant to determine which programs they can access and the steps for applying. 
 
In addition to these supports, we continue to monitor new supports or programs that are announced. 
 
 
 
Prescribing Changes in a virtual world

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has made amendments to existing prescribing practices to ensure patients are able to receive their medication when physicians are providing virtual medical care.    

Wet signatures and telephone prescribing for new prescriptions remain a requirement in the community setting, per the College of Pharmacists, which won't change until IT is more secure.  However, Doctors Technology Office (DTO) has received GPSC funding to support physicians in getting/paying for eFaxing capabilities, and is also working with EMR vendors to support the development of a unique electronic signature by way of digital pen or mouse. Physicians with the capability while working virtually can fax prescriptions in that they have signed, but they will need to provide their College ID and a phone number in case the pharmacist has questions.

 
Sick notes

Doctors of BC has been advocating for an end to the requirement for sick notes since 2014, and is again requesting that employers not require sick notes during the COVID-19 outbreak. This concern was brought to the attention of Public Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, who in early March stated: there is “no need – none – for sick notes at this time.”  

We understand that despite government’s statement, sick notes are still being requested by some employers. As a response, we wrote a news article further articulating our position.

BC Family Doctors has created a Covid-19 Sick Note letter for employers explaining why sick notes should not be requested at this time. You can find this letter and more on their COVID-19 Resources page.

Retired doctors/residents recuitment

In order to help meet the increasing demands on the capacity of the health-care system, the College of Physicians and Surgeons has made temporary emergency registration options available to physicians who meet these eligibility requirements:

  • BC physicians who recently retired (no more than two years ago)
  • R5 and R4 residents in internal medicine who hold RCPSC certification and LMCC, upon request by a health authority
  • Physicians in the academic class of registration
  • Clinical fellows in the last year of their three-year fellowship
  • Physicians licensed for independent practice elsewhere in Canada 
Physicians who meet these requirements may be deployed on an as-needed basis, depending on the specific needs of each health authority.
 
For more information, please contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons by email at this dedicated address: .

 

IMG recruitment

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has gathered physician feedback on a proposed bylaw change to allow international medical graduates (IMGs) to be registered with the College as an Associate Physician to provide needed support (under supervision) in acute care settings. Work on this began far in advance of our current pandemic, although these IMGs would likely begin work as soon as possible, and would create a permanent new category of physician licensure. More information can be found on the College website here.

External Resources

Practice Resources & Guidelines

Guidelines for expanded testing for COVID-19 
The updated guidelines advise that testing should be done of all individuals with new respiratory or systemic symptoms compatible with COVID-19, however mild, and details groups who should have testing priority. Physicians and other healthcare providers can also order a COVID-19 test for any patient based on their clinical judgment.

BCCDC on immunization services during COVID-19
The BC Center for Disease Control provides guidance to immunization providers on prioritization of infant, childhood and adult immunization programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BCCDC: COVID-19 Information & Resources for Health Care Professionals
The BC Centre for Disease Control provides the most up-to-date information about the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak in British Columbia, including a list of COVID-19 designated hospitals