The urgent care clinic, at the site of the former emergency department in Minden, is going full-time effective Oct. 3.

Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT) executive director Marina Hodson said the clinic will be open as usual this Saturday, Sept. 30, will close for staff orientation this Sunday, Oct. 1, but reopen next Tuesday, Oct. 3 with the plan for now to be operational 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

“That’s the plan for now,” Hodson said. “I think we’ll have to play it by ear to see if there’s actually demand seven days a week, especially in the winter.

“We’ll give it a month, maybe two, and see whether the demand is there in the middle of the week. It might not be busy enough and it might make more sense to have extra staff on the weekend and condense the week,” she added.

Hodson said they are able to make the leap from weekends after hiring a full time registered practical nurse (RPN) and a full-time nurse practitioner (NP). They are also currently recruiting for a fulltime administration person. They are also looking for parttime and casual staff for the two days the full-time RPN and NP will be off.

Clinic seeing 25 patients daily

“It’s just people that reached out when they saw the advertising about the openings,” Hodson said. “We had lots of interest, which is really good.”

She noted one of the new staff has had a seasonal residence in the County and is now looking to move to the Highlands full-time.

Since opening June 30, the clinic has only had to close one day due to staff shortages. Hodson advised people to consult their website ( however, before travelling to the clinic, to always ensure it is open.

Hodson said they had been averaging about 25 patients a day, and had seen 650 in total as of last Friday.

“People have seemed to have gotten a pretty good idea of what is appropriate to present with. Two to three people needed to be sent to emerge because it wasn’t appropriate but generally, I think people are understanding,” she said.

She noted the busiest day saw 30 patients, while the Mondays of long weekends have been quieter.

Urgent care clinics are between a walk-in clinic and an emergency department, dealing with things such as minor sprains, bruises, and people needing stitches.

Hodson added the urgent care clinic has to be having a positive impact on volumes at the Haliburton Hospital.

If they didn’t come here, they would have gone there, so it would have had an impact.”

Hodson added she, and her KNFHT, are pleased with the progress they have made to date. She said they actually hired staff quite a while ago but had to wait for them to finish up at other jobs.

“I think we were quite pleased with the quick turnaround. We’re just hiring the admin staff full-time now. That will be the last piece for now.

“At this point what we have is one full-time RPN, one fulltime NP, and then a full-time admin, and then casual staff to offset the two days a week that they’re off.”