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Not all N.L. doctors offering flu shots: NLMA

A flu shot is a good prevention against a pending influenza pandemic that worries the Public Health Agency of Canada.
A flu shot is a good prevention against a pending influenza pandemic that worries the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Government misspoke when it said doctors were giving out flu shots free of charge, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) says.

In a news release Tuesday promoting flu shot clinics offered by public health personnel through the the regional health authorities, the province mentioned doctors as an option.

But the NLMA today (Wednesday) reminded media that government cut out the fee code for flu vaccines. (Doctors used to be able to bill MCP $17 for a flu shot and some offered afterhours and weekend clinics to their patients.)

"This statement requires clarification because it implies that all family doctors will continue to provide flu shots and that a flu shot can be obtained in any type of office visit," NLMA president Dr. Lynn Dwyer said in the release.

Now the NLMA is hearing a mixed bag of reactions from its members — some doctors will provide the flu shot and absorb the lost fee, others say they won’t work for free and others will give it out if a patient is coming to the doctor for other reasons and will include it the regular office visit fee (of about $32 billed to MCP.)

If a patient wishes to have a flu shot from their doctor, they may wish to call in advance to verify that their doctor is still providing this service, the NLMA advised.  

 

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