New West doctors launch maternity hub amid vaccination concerns

Family doctors from across the Tri-Cities and New Westminster have launched a new virtual hub for maternity care after concerns around the transmission of COVID-19 was delaying vaccinations. 

The new virtual portal acts as a local guide for maternity care in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, as well as Anmore, Belcarra and New Westminster, and offers information on care providers, clinics, and vaccinations. 

“As COVID-19 progressed and social distancing became our new norm, myself and my physician-colleagues became concerned our patients were not seeking the care they need,” said Port Coquitlam’s Dr. Cathy Clelland in a written statement.

The virtual hub represents the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice’s latest adaptation in how it treats patients since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

Port Coquitlam clinic opens doors to new mothers, babies without a doctor amid pandemic_4
Dr. Grover Wong examines Elizabeth Ten at the Elgin Medical Centre in downtown Port Coquitlam. The clinic is now taking on new mothers and their babies to make up for a shortfall in family doctors left by COVID-19. - STEFAN LABBÉ/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Earlier in B.C.’s pandemic, family doctors in the Tri-Cities and New Westminster areas started seeing more and more patients with COVID-19-like symptoms, and many shut their doors because of a lack of personal protective equipment. 

Without a place to see patients, several of the division’s roughly 400 doctors pooled resources at three hubs: one at a COVID-19 testing clinic recently moved to Port Coquitlam, one at the Burke Mountain Medical Centre where a parallel practice sees new patients falling through the cracks, and another where doctors act as stop-gap for mothers and their newborns without easy access to health care. But the hub goes beyond basic care, and includes a series of virtual classes around everything from prenatal yoga to infant first aid and videos on breastfeeding. Other parts still under construction look to cover difficult topics like post-natal depression.

“This has been such a helpful resource for my patients…it’s all local,” added family doctor Dr. Dayna Mudie.

Residents from the Tri-Cities, Anmore, Belcarra and New Westminster can access the local hub at www.maternityhub.ca.

 

© New West Record