All about appointments at Island Sexual Health
Call (250) 592-3479 to book an appointment during clinic hours. We have both male and female doctors working with us. If you have a preference, indicate this to our receptionist when you book your appointment and we will book you in accordingly. We want to make this experience as comfortable as possible for you. You are always welcome to bring a friend, worker, partner, or family member with you to your appointment if you wish.
Please read through the following information before calling us. At our Quadra Street Location, we only offer booked appointments Monday-Saturday. Unfortunately, we are not able to function as a walk-in clinic. If clients without appointments, present with symptoms, they will be triaged by a health care professional; however, wait time CANNOT be estimated.
- Make an appointment
- Pick up products
- What to bring
- What to expect
- Who you’ll talk to
- Questions we’ll ask
- Special Requests
- Confidentiality Policies
Making an appointment
A receptionist is on duty:
- Mon: 9:00 am – 4 pm
- Tues and Wed: 9-5 pm
- Thurs: 9 am – 8 pm
- Fri: 9:00 am- 4 pm
- Sat: 11-3 pm
When you book your appointment the receptionist will take your legal name and other contact information (home address, phone number, and/or email address) including your Care Card (or other province’s health) number. Because we primarily bill MSP for medical services, we require a client’s legal name and a current method of contacting them for follow up in order to book an appointment.
All BC residents should have BC medical coverage that will cover the cost to see a Doctor, however if you do not have coverage, talk to the receptionist about any additional costs or alternative services. Please note some out of province fees may apply to certain services if you have coverage from a province outside of BC.
If you are booking/cancelling/rescheduling an appointment for someone else, please be aware that we require you to have all of their personal (including birth date and personal health number) and contact information (address, phone number and/or email address) for the person you are booking the appointment for.
We are not able to book/cancel/reschedule an appointment if complete information is not provided each and every time.
Due to the high demand in available appointments, if you need to cancel or change (non-IUD insertion) appointment we kindly ask that you give us 24 hours notice so another patient can use that appointment time.
All services are private and confidential*
You can pick up birth control pills/patches/rings without an appointment during clinic hours, if you have a current prescription with us. We cannot fill prescriptions written outside our clinic.
Clients visiting our store to purchase birth control will be asked to complete a birth control pickup assessment form which will be reviewed by a nurse. Additionally, your medication must be handed directly to you by a clinic nurse, who will be available to answer any questions or concerns you have about your medication.
If you are having a friend, partner or family member pick up your medication, we request that you be available to complete a quick phone assessment with the nurse at the time of pick up – because this can be difficult to coordinate, we strongly encourage clients to pick up their own birth control whenever possible. To help expedite this pick up process, you are welcome to print and complete an assessment form and bring it with you to your pick up. As a result of this new process, you may need to wait 15-20 minutes to pick up your medication; this should be no longer than the wait you would experience if you were to purchase your medication from a pharmacy.
What should I bring to my appointment?
- Care Card: Please bring your Care Card or the number in with you when you come as well. If you are under 18 and do not have access to your card or number, do not worry, we can get this information confidentially from the Medical Services Plan. As we are a clinic that uses the provincial medical services plan to bill for medical services, we will request your care card number as well as the full name that appears on your care card. If you do not have current medical coverage, please contact us to see how we can best support you.
- Money for annual fee: There is a yearly annual fee of $20. As a non-profit organization that receives no core funding, the annual fee enables us to provide free condoms, lower cost contraception and education services to the communities of Greater Victoria.
- Support: Bring a friend, parent or partner if you feel nervous about coming in alone or if you want them to be part of the education process.
- Any questions you may have for the doctor or educator. Some people like to write them down so they don’t forget.
- Money for contraception (if applicable): We provide birth control methods including pills/patch/ring/depo/IUDs at reduced rates. We accept Cash, Debit, and Visa/MC payment only. If funds are a problem, come in anyway; there may be programs available to assist you. We will do best to find services for you.
Who will I talk to?
- Receptionist: Your first stop to set up a personalized file for you and go over some clinic information.
- Product Sales: The product sales person will collect your annual fee (if you are able to pay for it) and sell you any products you have been prescribed or wish to purchase.
- Doctor/Nurse: The doctor will ask questions about your medical and sexual health history.
- For Clients wanting birth control:
- New prescriptions for pill/patch/ring; The Doctor/Nurse will give you a prescription for three months to give you time to adjust to the method. Usually follow up prescriptions are written to provide a 6 month supply.
- IUD pre-screen appointments require pelvic exam unless you’ve recently been pre-screened elsewhere.
- For Clients who want/require an exam or testing
- Depending on the type of testing you require, the Dr/nurse may perform a physical exam and specimen collection during the appointment or give you a requisition to go to a lab following your appointment.
- For Clients wanting birth control:
- Educator. If you are coming in for a new birth control start or wish to speak to someone about birth/bleed control, you can be booked in with a trained educator. This is a great place to get your questions answered. You can bring in a friend or partner(s) when you get this information, if you like.
What types of questions will I be asked?
All your information will be kept confidential. We do not share any information unless you ask us to, and we will not phone you without your permission.
- The receptionist will confirm basic information such as your legal name (or the name your medical coverage is linked to), address (if applicable), phone number, email address and personal health number (if applicable). If you use a different name than appears on your personal health card, please let us know and we will make note of this on your file.
- You’ll be asked to fill out a health summary form that asks questions about your sexual health, identity, and existing health issues in order to provide you with the most sensitive, respectful and comprehensive care. You are more than welcome to print this form [pdf] off, complete it, and bring it with you to your appointment.
- The nurse/doctor will ask questions about your general health and sexual activity to best understand your sexual health care needs, such as “Are you currently sexually active?”; “Have you had any new partners since your last visit?”; “What type(s) of sex do you and your partner(s) have?”; “Are you using any medications? ” and “Are you having any symptoms?”
- Remember that you are always welcome to ask questions. Feel free to bring a list of questions with you if that helps!
What can I expect during a visit to the clinic?
- If you are coming in for a repeat prescription, consult, exam or testing, after checking in at reception, you’ll be taken into an exam room to see the nurse or Doctor you’re booked with.
- We utilize the services of trained chaperones (doctor’s assistant) to help support you (the client) and assist the doctor with the exam process. If you wish to not have a chaperone with you during an exam, please advise us.
- If you want to begin a method of birth control, you will see both an educator and a doctor and you can expect to be here 1 to 1.5 hours. You will not have to have a physical exam on your first visit unless you request/require it.
If you have special requests for your appointment (i.e. to use a different name, to see a specific doctor; a female or male physician, language, or accessibility needs) please indicate when you call us and we will be happy to try and facilitate this for you!
All of our clinics are private and confidential. We recognize the importance of privacy and sensitivity with sexual health issues. Parents, partners, friends, employers, etc. do not have access to your information or knowledge of your attendance at our clinic. The confidentiality of people under the age of 19 is protected under the BC Infants Act. We are not an anonymous clinic and therefore require clients to register using their legal name and current contact information.
All of the health care professionals and volunteers working with ISH have completed confidentiality training and agreements.
We follow the guidelines concerning duty to report that have been created by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. We are required by law to confidentially report:
- positive results for certain sexually transmitted infections to public health
- disclosures of harm to self or others
- child abuse or neglect
- information as required by a court of law or other legal proceedings.
For more information or if you have concerns, please ask a staff member.
At Island Sexual Health, we must limit our clinical services to sexual health. Our doctors and nurses are not able to investigate, diagnose, and/or treat clients at Island Sexual Health for non-related sexual health related issues. Please visit a walk in clinic or family physician for your non-related sexual health concerns.