WELL Health Technologies (WELL.V) provides a Vancouver-area one-stop shop for health related issues

December 2, 2019

WELL Health Technologies (WELL.V) has acquired 51% in Burnaby, BC based integrated medical services provider, Spring Medical.

Spring Medical acts as one-stop shop for most health related services, which really makes life easier for people suffering from chronic pain.

The list of services includes family physician, pediatrician, physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, hearing aid specialist, counselling and more. Honestly, we can take or leave another acupuncture specialist or reflexologist in this town, but if this company can help someone get themselves in the door with a family doctor accepting new patients, it’d be worth every penny.

“Dr. Sakian and his team have done a tremendous job of integrating allied health with first rate primary medical care building one of BC’s premier healthcare clinics.  This acquisition broadens the umbrella of healthcare services offered by WELL,” said Hamed Shahbazi, chairman and CEO of Well.

Well operates primary healthcare facilities and a electronic medical records (EMR) business that support the digitization of the aforementioned clinics. At present, they open 19 medical clinics, are a majority owner of SleepWorks and provide digital EMR software and services to 946 medical clinics nationwide.

You really need to do your due diligence when looking for a care provider in this city, because doctors accepting new patients are hard to find. According to the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, 121,000 people in Vancouver do not have a primary care physician.

Dr. Rita McCracken, a family physician and assistant professor in UBC’s faculty of medicine says the problem is more to do with structural issues:

“Right now, almost all family doctor services in B.C. operate as individual businesses, where the doctor is required to provide all the services of running a business in addition to providing primary care. But that’s no longer what doctors are looking for.”

There are considerable financial disincentives for doctors to remain in Canada. Doctors are always in high demand anywhere and the reduced regulations and higher standard of living normally draws them south of the border.

“Doctors have choice. And they can choose to move to a place where they can find a place to practice and have a reasonable quality of life,” said Dave Baspaly, executive director of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice.

B.C.’s NDP government has been pushing a team-based approach to community-based primary care, wherein care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and other health care providers. The government launched their strategy in 2018 that promises funding for up to 200 new GPs in team-based clinics, as well as the launch of primary care networks, groups of allied health-care professionals working to streamline referrals and provide better support.

It’s difficult to tell right away whether or not this program stretches to include pseudoscientific “medicine” like Chinese medicines like acupuncture and reflexology, but we should be able to make concessions for anything which provides more doctors to a population starving for them.

On the financial side, Spring Medical has generated more than $2.3 million in revenues with EBITDA margins exceeding 10% in the past year, and has provided services to approximately 27,000 patients since inception.

—Joseph Morton

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