26.9 C
Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
New NOTL health clinic set to open April 22
RICHARD WRIGHT

The long wait to see a nurse practitioner in Niagara-on-the-Lake will come to an end April 22, bringing with it a much-anticipated walk-in clinic.

Its official name will be the NOTL Health Care Clinic.

For those who already have a family doctor, the facility — located inside the Village Medical Centre on Garrison Village Drive — will not be an added benefit. Patients who are not rostered with the Niagara North Family Heath Team are the target group.

NOTL’s population is about 18,000 and about 8,000 people are not rostered.

“We are trying to service people who don’t have care,” said Mary Keith, executive director of the NOTL health team.

“If you are a tourist (or a resident without a doctor) or have moved here and your doctor is in, say, Toronto, then it is OK to come to the clinic.”

That list of permitted patients includes international students and farmworkers.

So, what kind of health care services can residents expect from the new clinic and its nurse practitioner, Amy Bolduc?

In simple terms, Bolduc will provide chronic, preventive and urgent care. She can make diagnoses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe all medications and perform medical procedures such as stitches.

“This is great for the community,” says Keith. “A lot of people put in a lot of effort to get this position back.”

The person who previously held the position in NOTL was redeployed due to stresses put on the health care system by COVID-19 and never replaced.

The clinic will be open Mondary to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. but not on weekends.

While commonly referred to as a walk-in clinic, appointments can be made.

It will not have the same phone number as the medical centre. People in need of its services are asked to call 289-272-0441.

What is a nurse practitioner?

  • A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education, skills and experience who provides personalized, quality health care to the people of Ontario.
  • As registered nurses in the extended class, they are regulated by the College of Nurses of Ontario.
  • Only nurses who are registered in the extended class can refer to themselves as nurse practitioners.
  • Maintaining registration in the extended class requires ongoing education, training and complying with a high-level quality assurance program.
  • In Ontario, the average nurse practitioner works for 16 years as a registered nurse before returning to school to complete a master’s degree or post baccalaureate certificate to qualify as a nurse practitioner.

* Nurse practitioner information from Niagara North Family Health Team — niagaranorthfht.ca.

 

 

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