The Gleaner

New medical clinic planned for Ormstown

Emily Southwood

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.

New medical clinic planned for Ormstown
Drs Justin Wight and Catherine Bélanger are leading an initiative to create a new medical clinic in Ormstown photo Rob Vroom

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:


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LIsa 2019-10-10 at 18:01

Thank you for your vision and your excellent care!

S. Porter 2019-08-18 at 19:44

Mark my words, this is how the government will finally succeed in permanently closing down the Barrie. First, it will be the current clinic because of the brain drain and less working hours at the new clinic, then it will be the hospital because none of the visiting doctors will want to work there after their profitable 7 hour day day at the new clinic. They won’t need to. ACCESS TO LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTHCARE is much more important than the profits of doctors and wealthy building contractors. SAVE THE BARRIE AND OUR NON PROFIT CLINIC!
The hospital is losing staff because of a longstanding problem of mismanagement. We need new members for the Barrie’s Conseil d”administration who are willing to stand up to the government and work towards permanently securing the services necessary for our region. We’ve already lost too much. The Ormstown Medical Clinic is superior in services and staff and is covered by Medicare. If the current clinic is so outdated and the parking lot is too small, both can easily be updated for millions of dollars less. Establishing a new clinic which is not connected to the hospital is not only contrary to what’s happening in the rest of Quebec but it will be the end of local medicare. The promoters of the new clinic can either abandon their project to save our current nonproft clinic and hospital or push their project forward and permanently destroy local healthcare for all. It’s time for the medical recruitment task to be passed to someone else. During the previous campaign to save the Barrie, we citizens were also told that no doctors wanted to work in Ormstown. As it turned out, this was as untrue then as it is now. A newly graduated physician can have his/her medical training expenses vastly reduced for working outside the city area. Ormstown doctors qualify for that rebate. If you think the emergency waiting time is too long, complain to the hospital administration. The Quebec government constantly receives complaints from patients via the hospital admin. If enough people complain, the government listens. Imagine when the Barrie closes how much longer the emergency room waiting will be at Chateauguay or Valleyfield?

Bernice Reid 2019-08-16 at 14:11

This “one stop shop” as you call it might be great as long as you have money or good insurance.
The seniors on limited income will be out in the cold.When money talks over the health of
A community we have a real problem.

brian roberts 2019-06-14 at 15:45

i think this is great news for the valley and want to thank all the great drs who have served us all over the years

Jim 2019-06-11 at 20:30

What do some of the other doctors who have worked their entire careers in this community have to say about this new project?

S.Porter 2019-09-05 at 11:07

That’s exactly what the the Canadian Code of Journalist Ethics suggests to avoid unfair and biassed journalism. To do otherwise, a journalist is considered non-credible, also known as professional suicide.

eric dndurand 2019-06-10 at 21:36

Good news for Ormstown citizen! Ormstown the dream place!

Therese 2019-06-10 at 12:06

Something we all need

Therese 2019-06-10 at 12:05

Wonderfully news.

Theresa Sylvester 2019-06-10 at 11:17

Amazing…brilliant idea!

DON ROSENBAUM 2019-06-10 at 09:14

That is terrific news ! Thank you Doctors Bélanger and Wight for your initiative !.

Debbbie McCaig 2019-06-10 at 07:58

In my opinion it’s like putting the cart before the horse, if as I have read we’ve lost drs because of the building we’ll thats pretty sad. I would really like to see more drs and also that nurses would be able to take care of more patients. The ER is always a excruciating long wait because a lack of staff so in my opinion this is where some of the work needs to be done. Thank you


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