by Michelle Ferguson in St.Albert Gazette
Morinville will see some relief to its doctor shortage this spring thanks to a new clinic set to open in May.
The Morinville Family Medical Clinic will be housed in the 100 Block West building, located at 10507 100 Avenue and is expected to open on May 2. The Morinville Family Pharmacy will open around a month later.
There will be one full-time physician on staff when the clinic opens this spring. A second full-time physician will start a few months later and two additional physicians will assist with evenings and weekends.
“Our goal is to bring in three to five full-time physicians,” said Fatima Haymour, manager of Alberta Medical Professionals Inc., who will run the clinic and pharmacy.
Haymour approached Trade Developments, the developer for 100 Block West, about the space after hearing that there weren’t enough doctors in Morinville.
“It’s such an underserviced area,” said Haymour. “Everyone has to go into St. Albert or there aren’t enough family physicians accepting – and that’s just in Morinville, never mind the surrounding area.”
The clinic will be open seven days a week and feature extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
Physicians will accept both appointments and walk-ins. Patients of the clinic will be guaranteed same-day access to their family doctor through walk-in slots.
“It’s a model that we use in Edmonton that works well,” said Haymour. “You might have to wait an hour, but you’ll see your family doctor. I think that’s something that’s lacking in St. Albert.”
Alberta Medical Professionals Inc. also intends to duplicate the multidisciplinary medical home model employed at its Old Scona Medical Centre location on Whyte Avenue.
Medical, or health, homes are a new provincial initiative, outlined in the 2014 Primary Health Care Strategy, meant to ensure that Albertans “have access to a core set of comprehensive primary health care services,” such as addictions and mental health services, chronic disease prevention and management, seniors care, maternal and child care and rehabilitative care.
A team of family doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers that provide personalized and coordinated care staff the homes.
The Old Scona Medical Centre also brings in specialists in the fields of pediatrics, dermatology, rheumatology, orthotics, diabetes and diet counselling, so patients can address the majority of their health care needs in one place.
“We bring the doctors to them,” said Haymour.
Simon Boersma, chair of the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news wholeheartedly at this month’s Chamber luncheon.
“Our community has come to about 10,000 people, and I’ve personally seen a greater need for the new doctors,” said Boersma. “It’s great to see that now happening.”
The clinic will take up 3,500 square-feet, or 30 per cent, of the commercial space in the 100 Block building. An additional two to four commercial bays are still available for lease.
Scott Jendruck, president of Trade Developments, indicated that the company would be looking for future tenants that fit with the 55-plus demographic residing in the apartment units above.
The Morinville Family Medical Clinic website is currently under construction. The clinic will be accepting new patients closer to the opening date.