Originally published in the North Bay Nugget
Nurse practitioner clinic opens on Lakeshore Drive
by JENNIFER HAMILTON-McCHARLES
NORTH BAY: Individuals registering to be part of a new nursepractitioner led clinic may have a long wait ahead of them The clinic, located at the Lakeshore Plaza, can accommodate 3,200 and has already received 2,000 pre-registered patients. However, it could take up to a year before each patient has an initial consultation, said Kim Malkowski, administrative lead for the project.
Malkowski said it will take about four months for the first 400 patients go through the process. The first patients will begin the assessment and interview process Monday morning.
Services provided include physicals, episodic illness care, falls prevention programs for older persons, immunizations, smoking cessation, injury prevention and monitoring and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disease and mental health conditions.
Despite the popularity of the service and possible long wait, it’s not deterring many from putting their names on the list. Trina Richard, a healthy living worker, and George Hughie, an aboriginal health outreach worker of the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, know many people who could benefit from front-line health care.
“There are a lot of people without a doctor right now. Many people who just need help filling out medical forms,” Hughie said Friday during the clinic's official opening.
“People have been making do with walk-in clinics and the hospital's emergency department.”
Nipissing MPP Monique Smith said the province gave $1.5 million this year to get the clinic up and running and $1.3 million next year for operation. Smith said this will be a big boost to front-line health care.
Mayor AI McDonald said there are about 12,000 people without a doctor in the area.
The clinic will house a registered nurse and registered practical nurse, as well as receptionists and administrative staff. The clinic hopes to add a social worker, a dietitian and a pharmacist.