Orphan patients living in the County — meaning those without a family physician — can now obtain preventive care through a new initiative launched by the Prince Edward Family Health Team.
Patients can now meet with a physician and get referrals for mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap smears and other cancer screening procedures at the new clinic.
“We realized with 4-5,000 local residents without a family doctor, a walk-in clinic would require 100 hours of physician time a week to service that population,” said Dr. Cliff Rice.
“We don’t have the resources to make that happen, but Dr. Gord Holton said why don’t we look at specific patients within that large group.”
Executive director of the PEC Family Health Team, Debbie Korzeniowski, agreed, stating preventive care seemed to be the area where we could make the most impact and that those in need of that type of care are also the most vulnerable.
The clinic would not be possible without the passion and dedication of retired doctors Rice and Halton, both of whom care greatly for the community, added Ms. Korzeniowski.
“It will generally be for folks over the age of 50 who need screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms. It’s also for women who are need of Pap smears,” said Dr. Rice. “We can also set up referrals for immunizations and sexual health clinics.”
As is the case with most health services needed by orphan patients, the Emergency Room at Prince Edward County Memorial quickly becomes the catch-all for those in need of simple referrals for screenings.
“It’s inappropriate to go to the emergency room to get that type of referral, but that is what has been happening,” Ms. Korzeniowski said. “So it makes sense to have this type of service here. This clinic may develop into other things, but the important thing is to get this message out there. If you are living without a family doctor here in the County, there is a way to obtain this type of preventive care.”
For more information on the clinic, visit https://www.pefht.ca or call 613-476-0400 ext 239.
Physician Recruitment Efforts Continue
Physician Recruitment team lead Adam Hambly said there is good news on the horizon for those in need of a doctor. The County Docs program continues to deliver on key initiatives as part of its robust recruitment strategy.
“Perhaps the most important new development is the recruitment of another permanent physician, who is expected to start at the beginning of 2024. This is in addition to the permanent physician we announced a few months ago, expected to start this Fall. Moreover, we have secured a few more locums to provide temporary coverage for our existing physician team,” said Mr. Hambly.
Mr. Hambly said the team was very optimistic that at least a couple of these locums will decide to stay and take permanent positions in 2024.
To date, County Docs has participated in six large-scale recruitment events, hosted 10 physicians for site visits and dramatically expanded its online presence.
“We’re currently following 31 leads, 11 of which have expressed high interest in Prince Edward County and are either practice-ready or less than 12 months away from being practice-ready.
With additions to the PEFHT seemingly imminent, Mr Hambly reminded patients in Prince Edward County without a family doctor that they should be registered with Health Care Connect by clicking on the link or calling 811.