December 11, 2023

People without a primary care provider who need blood work done can no longer have it collected at the South Shore Health and Wellness Centre in Crapaud.

Reeves Laboratory Service had been drawing patients’ blood at a clinic one evening a week, but owner Rachel Reeves said she couldn’t continue, blaming a lack of resources and support.

“I am saddened to have to close it for now, but the current infrastructure of health care in our province continues to neglect these initiatives,” she said in a statement to CBC News.

Reeves said the temporary closure of the Summerside Walk-in Clinic left her overwhelmed and unable to properly serve all the communities in which she worked.

Blood collection is something that a lot of people don’t have access to unless they go to… a hospital, and there could be a long waiting list to get in there.— Lisa Gallant, owner and pharmacist at South Shore Pharmacy

The walk-in clinic was run by Dr. Syed Naqvi, who “is on medical leave for indeterminate amount of time,” according to a Health P.E.I. news release on Thursday. His own 2,500 patients are now being offered virtual care through the Maple platform. 

Reeves said the contract she had wasn’t enough to support a business case for continuing to work the Crapaud clinic as well as her Summerside location. 

“I didn’t study business, but I’m learning on the fly, and I need to prioritize my personal health and safety for the sustainability and longevity of Reeves Laboratory Service,” she said.

“I will continue to do what I can to provide care. I am hopeful the Crapaud Collection Clinic is not a permanent closure.”

A man stands in front of a computer screen with shelves full of file folders behind him.
Dr. Syed Naqvi’s Summerside walk-in clinic is not operating because he is experiencing health issues himself, Health P.E.I. has said. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Lisa Gallant, who owns and works as a pharmacist at the South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud, said she’s concerned about how the closure will affect people in the area as well as nearby hospitals. 

“It’s definitely a loss to our South Shore communities,” she said. “Blood collection is something that a lot of people don’t have access to unless they go to… a hospital, and there could be a long waiting list to get in there.”

People who are patients of the nurse practitioners at the Crapaud clinic can still have blood drawn there. All others must go to a hospital or to one of the two remaining Reeves locations to get blood work done.

Gallant said any new blood collector would need to be affiliated with a physician to work at Crapaud, and the health centre has been without a family doctor for a while.

However, the community has worked with Health P.E.I. to successfully recruit a new physician who will begin to practise there in July.

Blood vials being handled in a lab.
The South Shore Health and Wellness Centre has 1,300 people on the registry who want to receive care there, says owner and pharmacist Lisa Gallant. (Atiwat Witthayanu/Shutterstock)

Gallant said she hopes this will help by taking some local people who don’t have a primary care provider off the P.E.I. patient registry, which as of June 6 contained 30,571 names.

“Ideally, more people will be taken from the registry from the South Shore area into the practice at the clinic next door,” she said.

“We think the issue will work itself out over time, where many people in this area on the registry will be accepted into the practice over at the clinic and will be able to get bloodwork at the clinic.”


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