It has been a most challenging year and we hope this letter finds you all well. As always, we thank you for entrusting us with the medical care of your children. It is an honour to which we assign the highest importance. The information provided below will familiarize you with the practice and allow you to best utilize the services we provide.
We want to thank you all for your ongoing patience, understanding, and support as we all continue to navigate our way through this uncertain, unsettling and constantly evolving situation. At Midtown Pediatrics, we are constantly monitoring the latest on the virus, the pandemic, the vaccine, and the response of government and public health agencies. Our top priority is to provide the highest quality of care in the safest possible environment.
1. We are still here for you
We offer Virtual appointments (either by telephone or video-conference) as much as possible, particularly for most check-ups, counselling appointments, and same-day sick appointments. We continue to offer In-person appointments to those children who need to be seen in person (ie, newborns and infants and children requiring immunizations and some other children based on the evaluation of our physicians).
Everyone is screened for COVID-19 prior to arrival at the clinic. Only clinic staff, patients and caregivers who screen negative are permitted in the clinic. If someone in your family develops COVID-19 symptoms after you were screened, please contact the office for further guidance before presenting for your appointment.
3. Physical Distancing
In clinic, all doctors, nurses, staff and patients must keep a physical distance of 2 meters (6 feet) as much as possible. We minimize the number of patients in the clinic and avoid using the waiting room. Patients are placed directly into a room upon arrival. Only ONE caregiver is permitted to accompany the patient to their appointments. Siblings without an appointment should stay home.
In accordance with the latest scientific evidence and City of Toronto Mandatory Mask or Face Covering by-law, all patients over the age of 2, caregivers, and clinic staff must wear a mask at all times. Masks with valves are not effective and are not permitted.
All patients, caregivers, and clinic staff must sanitize their hands upon entry to the clinic. Toys and books have been removed from the waiting room. Examination rooms are cleaned with medical-grade cleaner after each patient leaves.
Toronto Public Health has deemed it essential for infants to receive their routine immunizations throughout this pandemic. COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under 16 years of age. We will update our families with information relating to the use of this vaccine in children and whether it is supplied to be administered in Pediatric clinics.
7. Building update (586 Eglinton Avenue East)
Our building, including the lab and radiology department, continues to be open to provide essential surfaces to supplement your medical care.
Dr. Nessa Bayer, Dr. Tara Gelman, and Dr. Tamar Flanders are Consultant and General Pediatricians who work side-by-side, caring for their separate patient populations, while covering each other’s patients when one is out of the office. Our team also consists of a Pediatric Dermatologist, Dr. Marissa Joseph, and two Pediatric Allergists, Dr. Tracy Pitt and Dr. Rae Brager, and Pediatric Endocrinologist, Dr. Leah Abitbol. Specialist consultations require referral from your primary care physician.
Sally and Dinna, our nurses, are also valuable team-members. The nurses perform initial patient assessments and vaccinations, answer questions, and provide telephone advice. The front desk is staffed by Samantha and Rita (who is covering Shelley’s maternity leave), who always strive to ensure that the day runs smoothly. They are available five days a week from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Our team also includes a Child and Family Therapist, Laurie Solmon. Laurie focuses on supporting the social, emotional, and behavioural well-being of children, youth and their families. Please note that her services are not covered by OHIP, but may be covered by private insurance.
In addition to the regular team, as we view teaching as an important part of our medical practice, trainees (medical students and residents) occasionally rotate through the office and work under the supervision of the Midtown physicians.
Flu season is here and Flu shots are available at Midtown Pediatrics. We are no longer running our weekend Flu Shot Clinics but are offering Flu shots in the office daily. Please call the office to book an appointment if your child still requires a Flu shot.
GRADE 7 VACCINATIONS
All school immunization clinics are suspended for the 2020-2021 school year. Students in Grades 7/8 can still receive their vaccinations (Meningococcal-quadrivalent, Human papillomavirus (HPV), and Hepatitis B) at Toronto Public Health clinics, by appointment only. They will notify parents when clinics are available. In addition, in the coming months, our clinic will be offering these vaccinations to current Grade 8 students (born in 20007) who still require their second doses of Hepatitis B and HPV vaccine. You will be able to call to schedule an appointment for this. We are still awaiting guidance from Toronto Public Health regarding students currently in Grade 7 (born in 2008). Stay tuned.
CANCELLATION AND NO SHOW POLICY
A minimum of 24 hours notice is required for all cancellations. This will allow us to schedule another child into that appointment time. Please be aware that you will be charged a fee for missed appointments. If you have to cancel your appointment at the last minute due to COVID-19 symptoms or contact with a case, you will not be penalized. Please arrive on time for your appointment. If you arrive more than 20 minutes past your appointment time the doctor will not be able to see you that day. This applies to Virtual Appointments as well.
In the case of a true emergency call 911 or go directly to your nearest Emergency Department.
Telehealth Ontario is available 24 hours a day for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000.
There are four Children’s After Hours Clinics (Note: their availability in person or virtually may vary due to COVID-19 restrictions):
- Kid-E-Care, 491 Eglinton Ave W (416-860-6696)
- Danforth Children’s After Hours Clinic, 235 Danforth Ave (416-461-3000)\
- North York Children’s After Hours Clinic, 1100 Sheppard Avenue East (416-250-5000)
- Just for Kids Clinic, St. Joe’s Hospital, 30 The Queensway (416-530-6611)
Several important aspects of pediatric practice (ie. telephone advice, prescription renewals, communication with consultants or schools, and letters or forms for daycare, school and camp) are not covered by OHIP. Examinations required solely to satisfy a third party (ie. insurance, camp or daycare forms, travel vaccines and other vaccines not covered by OHIP, TB skin test requested by a third party, non-plantar wart treatments), are also not covered. These uninsured services may be paid for individually. Alternatively, we offer the option of an annual fee, which covers the majority of these costs. Please inquire with our staff for details.
Toronto is building a new transit line, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. It was scheduled to be completed by 2021, but there may be delays. Please be patient with the construction along Eglinton near our office and make sure to leave extra time travelling to your appointment in order to arrive on time.
Communication with the office can be done via phone, through the website or by email ([email protected]). Please note that email communication is for administrative purposes only and our email is not secure. We do not address any medical concerns over email.
Please visit us at www.midtownpediatrics.ca. You will find news updates, flu vaccine clinic details, online resources and more.
If you have any questions, concerns or comments about these or other health care issues, please let us know. We would be happy to discuss them with you.
Tara Gelman, MD Nessa Bayer, MD Tamar Flanders, MD