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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The long wait for a walk-in clinic for NOTL is over
Local dignitaries give the thumbs-up following an announcement of good news that a nurse practitioner will soon provide full-time services for Niagara-on-the-Lake at a walk-in clinic planned for the Village Medical Centre. From left: Coun. Gary Burroughs, Mary Keith, executive director of the Niagara North Family Health Team, Coun. Sandra O’Connor, Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa, Coun. Wendy Cheropita, chief administrator Bruce Zvaniga and deputy Lord Mayor Erwin Wiens. RICHARD WRIGHT

New nurse practitioner will start seeing patients in mid-April

 

Residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake without a family doctor will soon have local options for primary health care services thanks to the long-awaited arrival of a new nurse practitioner in the community.

Flanked by members of town council, municipal administrative staff and Niagara North Family Health Team leadership, Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa led a cheerful and relieved crowd of dignitaries Tuesday for the official announcement.

“If you want health care services and you’re not a member of the (Niagara North Family Health) Team you have to go to the emergency room, and we all know how terrible that is,” said Zalepa, speaking outside the Village Medical Centre.

“This is now giving residents an option — an option to come here versus having to go just to the emergency room.”

In short: NOTL is getting a walk-in clinic.

Not since the Niagara-on-the-Lake Hospital was shuttered in 2015 have primary health care services been available to all residents. About 8,000 people in NOTL do not have a family doctor.

“So, it is going to help those people,” said Coun. Sandra O’Connor.

“It is going to help the tourists — we get 2.2 million tourists a year and someone may fall and hit their head and need some stitches or something like that — the students, the seasonal workers, all those people, it is very critical for them,” she added.

Mary Keith, executive director of the Niagara North Family Health Team, confirmed that the nurse practitioner position is already filled and residents will be able to utilize their services by mid-April at the Village Medical Centre on Garrison Village Drive.

O’Connor, who has been a vocal advocate for enhanced health care services in NOTL for several years, dating back to her time on the previous town council, expanded on the services that will be provided, noting this is a good day for NOTL.

“They can do stitches, they refer to specialists, they can renew prescriptions — any kind of primary health care (needs).”

“And if they need additional things they can reach out to other people and doctors. They can provide a fairly comprehensive scope of services,” she said.

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