North Kawartha health team applies to open urgent care clinic at Minden hospital

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The Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT) has provided notice to Ontario Health that it wants to open an urgent care clinic at the Minden hospital.

Executive director, Marina Hodson, said an official expression of interest had been submitted to the province May 31.

“We feel strongly the option of an urgent care clinic would provide the best opportunity to continue to have health care services locally for the residents of Minden Hills,” Hodson said. “As a resident of Minden myself, I realize the limitations of our resources and how stretched healthcare providers are, especially during the busy summer season.

“We hope that if this proposal is approved, we would be able to alleviate some of this burden,” she added.

KNFHT has offices in Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon, providing services to people in the northern parts of Kawartha Lakes as well as Haliburton County and Trent Lakes. It is a charitable non-profit agency that receives funding for daily operations from the Ministry of Health.

Hodson says KNFHT has over 500 patients from the County.

It was noted the funding request is for nurse practitioners and registered practical nurses. If approved, the clinic would treat patients with unexpected but non-life-threatening health concerns, Hodson said. She is also proposing some primary care services for local patients who don’t have a family doctor.

Hodson is proposing the clinic be open eight hours per day, seven days a week, though noted if future funding opportunities arose, she would be open to running the clinic 24/7.

“We are hoping the service will be expanded upon if physicians become available to join and/or other agencies express an interest to partner,” she said. “Additionally, we would relinquish the space to Haliburton Highlands Health Services or augment their services should they wish to examine opportunities to re-open the Minden ED in future.”

HHHS ceased emergency operations in Minden June 1. The public can still access the site for ultrasounds, X-rays, physiotherapy and diabetes education.

Hodson noted there’s no timeline for when the service could launch, saying that’s dependent on Ontario Health and how quickly the proposal is reviewed. She should public consultation on implementation and type of services required will take place should the application be approved.

As well as KNFHT, the Haliburton County Paramedic Services paramedicine program and the local Home and Communty Support Services branch have also expressed an interest in adding services to the Minden site.