At its last meeting of this term, Huntsville Council approved the establishment of a walk-in health clinic at the Huntsville Public Library Annex.
Municipal staff have been working with healthcare providers in the community to help establish a health clinic and alleviate the plight of residents who do not have a family doctor. The request was brought forward by Dr. Melanie Mar last July. At the time, it was estimated that about 1,700 residents do not have a family physician.
Mar told council many patients are not receiving preventative care or help to manage existing chronic illnesses and they’re winding up sicker and seeking care at the hospital Emergency Room (ER), which is overwhelming ER doctors who are having to discharge patients who often wind up returning because they don’t have a family doctor to guide them after discharge.
The clinic would be supported by the Town, community health care providers as well as Ontario Health. The library board has approved the use of the Annex for a clinic pending its review of the agreement.
The Town would be providing the space for free and fixing the parking lot at a cost not to exceed $60,000. The Town’s accessibility committee is also expected to inspect the premises to ensure they are fully accessible and with the aid of Ontario Health would cover all leasehold improvements and operational costs.
Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano said that if all goes smoothly, the clinic could be up and running as early as this December.
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