PROVINCETOWN — Outer Cape Health Services, which operates urgent and primary care clinics in Provincetown, Wellfleet, and Harwich, is encouraging its primary-care patients to schedule routine health care appointments previously put on hold in the first phases of Gov. Charlie Baker’s Safer-at-Home Advisory.
Despite a dire financial situation in March, which necessitated a reduction in OCHS’s operating hours and an alarmed fund-raising pitch, CEO Patricia Nadle said Covid-19-related budget constraints have not hindered its services, for which she credited state and federal funding. “At this time, we encourage patients not to delay visits,” she said.
Facing dismal vaccination rates on the Outer Cape and Covid-19’s several-month disturbance of regular immunization schedules, OCHS is “urging parents to make appointments for routine and preventative visits,” said Clinical Director of Practice Development Scott Weissman. “The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted vaccination rates across the country, so our outreach is even more important given the current climate,” he said.
At present, wait times for a first appointment for new primary-care patients range from three to six months, depending on the provider. OCHS urgent care clinics can treat visitors for urgent but non-life-threatening ailments “per current state and CDC guidelines,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrew Jorgensen.
Given the physical proximity required for eye-care appointments, OCHS’s optometry services remain suspended. They hope to resume these services in the coming month. —Olivia Weeks