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BC doctors urge employers to stop asking for sick notes

March 18, 2020

BC’s doctors are asking employers to not require sick notes during the COVID-19 outbreak, building on statements from both the Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix that there is “no need – none – for sick notes at this time.” 

“Sick notes place an unnecessary burden on the health care system, at a time when our priority is to use existing resources to help patients in need,” said Doctors of BC President Dr Kathleen Ross. “When patients come into the office to get sick notes, they are putting physicians, their staff and other patients at risk.”

Sick%20notesDoctors of BC started advocating in 2014 for a policy to end the use of sick notes in human resources practices. Although a long-term solution is needed, employers can do their part now by taking this step to immediately ease pressure on the health care system.

Doctors of BC reminds everyone to take necessary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, self-isolating as necessary, and practicing good hygiene. If you are worried that you may have COVID-19, you are encouraged to use the new self-assessment tool developed by the BC Center for Disease Control.


We have heard from physicians about the burden of forms needed to claim insurance coverage. Doctors of BC will continue to advocate with the insurance industry to reduce and simplify their form requirements.

If you have questions or comments on this article or any other COVID-19 related matter, please email us at covid19@doctorsofbc.ca.