With an aim to provide the Haut-Saint-Laurent with additional access to doctors and health services, a new medical clinic is in the works for Ormstown. The project was spearheaded by current Ormstown Medical Clinic doctors Catherine Bélanger and Justin Wight, who have discussed the prospect for some time. It began gaining traction in fall of 2018 thanks to several key factors. With the municipality of Ormstown’s enthusiasm and a partnership with the Caisse Desjardins, medical management firm Plakett joined the team, as well as Huot Co. — a developer that specializes in the construction of medical complexes. Together, their mandate is to build a medical facility that is up to 2019 standards and will meet the present and future needs of local citizens.
Dr. Bélanger explains the impetus for taking on the creation of a new clinic, as well as the associated risks involved: “The current OMC has been in existence since the 1950s and has served a vital role in the community alongside the Barrie Memorial Hospital. With the evolution of medicine, and the increasing demands of our population, there has been a growing necessity for a new clinic that can meet these needs.”
Bélanger goes on to explain that in the coming years it will be imperative to recruit new physicians to the area to ensure a continuity of care, as well as staffing of the BMH. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening with the departure of four young doctors in the last two years. The Haut-Saint-Laurent region also has the highest proportion of doctors aged 65 or older in the province of Quebec (38 per cent versus the province average of 12 per cent). Doctors Bélanger and Wight hope the new clinic will help attract medical professionals to come and stay in the area, and to support the hospital and the community overall.
The concept for the building complex is to provide a one-stop shop where patients can see their physician as well as have access to such services as physiotherapy and a pharmacy at the same time. Wight explains the other needs they hope to meet: “As the clinic grows, we plan to offer a walk-in clinic that is open seven days a week and a minor procedure clinic so that patients can avoid going to the ER as much as possible and help alleviate the waiting list at the BMH.” Additionally, the clinic will offer on-site blood testing services; increased access to nurses as well as more nurse practitioners; psychotherapists; nutritionists; massotherapists; and overall increased access to specialists.
The team is optimistic that the project can be realized by the spring of 2020. As a recruiting tool for medical practitioners, a new website is underway to highlight the area and community. Residents of the Valley are encouraged to submit photos showcasing the beauty of the region. Please send photos to: email@example.com.