A spate of recent retirements by family physicians is placing increased pressure on the city's three medical clinics.
"It's a little busier," said Gail Love, a nurse with North Shore Treatment Centre. "More family doctors have left and there's nowhere else to go."
There are three clinics that serve people living here without a family doctor: North Shore Treatment Centre, Summit Medical Clinic and Urgent Care Clinic in Sahali.
The idea of a walk-in clinic is really a misnomer, representatives say. Patients typically begin arriving before doors open at 9 a.m. or call in to get an approximate time.
"Because there's so many patients without family physicians we give someone a time they can come back so they're not sitting around spreading germs with someone else," said Cea McBride, administrator at Kamloops Urgent Care Clinic.
Physicians are restricted in their ability to bill for patients, placing a cap on the number of people who can be seen in a day.
At Urgent Care, patients who need immediate help, including cuts or trauma, for example, typically don't wait for an appointment later in the day.
Clinics also work together. Representatives said if one clinic is full, staff members typically direct patients to one of the other clinics that is still taking patients on that day.
McBride said volumes vary day to day.
"Usually we get filled every day, sometimes by 11 a.m. and sometimes not until 4 p.m."
Love agreed that patient volumes are difficult to predict, other than during Christmas, for example, when numbers are high.
"This morning (Thursday) I'd never seen such a large lineup," Love said. "There were 30 people. Sometimes there's five."