December 11, 2023

All that’s needed to launch a Community Health Centre in the Greater Trail area is provincial approval.

The Chair of working group Win Mott also said the detailed proposal for 3-to-4 integrated clinics throughout Trail, Rossland and the Beaver Valley including basic practitioners and specialists has been submitted to the Health Ministry.

“These would all be a network of clinics that would combine together for things like group purchases and human resources backing and all that kind of administrative thing,” he said, adding a wide range of health services would also be available to patients.

“So that you are seeing not only a doctor or nurse practitioner, but there is a whole team of professionals there, social workers, OT’s (occupational therapists), physiotherapists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, whatever (is needed),” Mott explained.

The group has been working on the plan for several years and submitted its comprehensive proposal after getting input from patients.

Mott told Bounce News the plan has the support of all five municipalities involved and the MLA.

He said there has been no stated opposition from area doctors and practitioners, but some would not take part.

He stated there was some uneasiness about the effect of the Community Health Centre on their practices.

However, Mott pointed out there are more than enough patients to go around.

“Something like 6,000 patients in the Lower Columbia area who do not presently have a doctor, so it’s not as if there is going to be a shortage of patients for any clinic,” according to Mott.

It’s also the feeling of the working group that this model will attract new physicians.

“Most physicians coming out of school in the last few years are much more comfortable taking a position that is salaried or a solid contract rather than trying to buy into a medical clinic,” he stated.

“They usually have a high student debt and don’t need to take on that kind of (additional) debt,” Mott added.

“They went to medical school to be doctors not business people.”

The working group is in the process of putting together a Board of Directors for the non-profit health delivery operation.

Mott said provincial health officials are familiar with the Community Health Clinic model and are hoping to get moving on the plan very soon.

“They (the Health Ministry) seem to be moving on things at the moment, so we’re hopeful it won’t be too long,” said Mott.  


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