A village-owned doctor’s office in Lawrencetown will be expanded into a clinic when its current physician retires in June.
Village commission chair Brian Reid said in an emailed statement and on the village’s website that the commission and the Lawrencetown Community Development Cooperative have decided to move forward with the upgrades that will see the building more than double in size.
“With the previously announced retirement of our local physician, Dr. Grant Goodine, the Village Commission began looking at options for replacing our primary care service in the community,” Reid said May 13. “Initially the Village Commission and members of the LCDC board approached the provincial health authority hoping the task of recruitment would be successful. It has not been a productive exercise particularly with the shortage of physicians and competing priorities of the authority.”
Reid said Lawrencetown asked for advice on recruitment and feedback from potential physicians and it was suggested that the existing clinic would be more attractive if it could house a collective of health care professionals as that was the preferred environment for new physicians seeking a location to practice.
“We have taken that to heart and will begin the overhaul of the existing clinic shortly after Dr. Goodine retires in early June,” Reid said. “With an addition of nearly 2,000 square feet, and a second floor of office space, the new facility will also house a pharmacy on the main level.”
He said the village commission is currently in discussions with a local pharmacy owner to ensure the space is sized and fitted appropriately for the installation of a dispensary.
“We anticipate those arrangements to be finalized in the next few weeks,” Reid said.
While the facility will be expanded and maintained by the Village Commission, the operation and management of the facility will be in the hands of the LCDC, Reid said. “
Following the successful model of the Lawrencetown broadband initiative, the Lawrencetown Community Health Co-operative will be owned by its members, as well as staffed and run by the members of the co-operative,” Reid said. “The primary care services will be offered as a monthly subscription service to members of the co-operative.”
He said a membership share in the co-operative can be purchased for $100 and a monthly subscription for the service will be charged. Reid said that fee is still being calculated but is anticipated to be in the $40 to $60 per month range. He said details will follow this summer.
“The goal is to have the new clinic operational around Sept. 1 of 2019,” Reid said.
Until the co-op is successful in recruiting a new physician or physicians, the primary care services will initially be delivered at the clinic by a combination of nursing professionals, pharmacists, and primary care physicians by on-site locums and telehealth sessions. The intention, he said, is to provide as much primary health care at this site as possible.
“We anticipate that the telehealth component will persist even after we attract the physicians we need because it will become an important part of continuing the service particularly when the local primary care providers take vacations or are away for other reasons,” Reid said.
More information will be available in the coming weeks as the project gets underway, he said.
If you are a Health Care professional interested in working for the co-operative, or a patient considering belonging to the co-operative, contact LCDC at 902 309-1636 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org