Nina Bifolchi

After Hours Clinic

Proposed After Hours Clinic

An after-hours clinic would be a great service and convenience to our community and residents. It is something that has been discussed for years. At one point approximately 15 years ago one of our local doctor’s offices provided this service for their own patients. It was eventually cancelled as it did not have the results they had hoped for.

At the October 24, 2017 Committee of the Whole meeting council was presented with a staff report as attached. During this meeting I made the following comments:

I think it would be wonderful for our community to have an after-hours clinic. But there isn’t a business plan to support it. If the doctors thought it made business sense, they would be doing it. The experts in this field, of which we are not, are saying they won’t fund it. The taxpayers of Wasaga Beach should not be on the hook for a Provincial responsibility.

Less than 4 patients per day does not warrant setting up this clinic. Physicians say “it’s not warranted.”
We don’t need to do a pilot program at a cost to the taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars … we already have the numbers and we know they don’t work.

The stats show that the majority of people using the clinic shouldn’t be. Other opportunities as stated in the report have been set up so that they can see their doctor the day they need them.

As far as the alternative models in the report, that raises huge red flags and liability and I could not support that.
I have heard more during this term than any other about downloading from other levels of government, we hear it at the county. This is a Provincial responsibility not our municipal tax payers.

Nice idea before an election next year but we have to be realistic.

I fully support spending some money on doctor recruitment if our community needs another doctor and quite frankly what would be spent on this pilot would probably cover a few doctors.

For the reasons stated I did not support the vote at the committee level to recommend to council to support this pilot. It was also decided that the procedural by-law would be waived so that this issue could be dealt with by Council immediately following, at that evening’s 7pm Council meeting. You can view the Committee of the Whole meeting by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAqD1nkjs8o

Approximately an hour later at the 7pm council meeting I made the following comments:

I won’t reiterate what I said an hour ago when this issue was discussed at the committee table. I didn’t support it and those interested can review the footage as to my reasons why.

I believe this money would be better spent on doctor recruitment to bring full time doctors to our community.

I have huge concern about the “non-core” initiatives that the municipality has taken on during this term of council and I’m concerned about what that means for future tax payers.

That being said the majority of council supported moving this forward at the committee level and I will support it now.

While I believe town staff have a big job ahead of them trying to set up, arrange for doctors and open a clinic, something they have never done before nor have been trained in, however I hope for the best.

After the debate at the committee meeting which resulted in the majority of council supporting this, I felt that it was important to project a unanimous and positive vote at Council for our local medical community. I also felt that should we have to recruit from outside of the Georgian Triangle area it was important that council be united for those doctors who may decide to assist with this venture.

I also gave consideration to the recruitment of future full time doctors and the need for the Town to be seen in a positive light and reputation.

I stand behind my statement that this is a nice idea before an election next year as quite frankly who wouldn’t want the convenience of an after-hours clinic in their community. It should however be pointed out, that in my opinion, our current council is giving you what they think you want, knowing it will be after the next election that there is the potential that the next council may have to cancel the program and take it away from the community.

I hope it is a great success, is utilized, and doesn’t cost the taxpayers of this community.




CLICK HERE TO READ STAFF REPORT – AFTER HOURS CLINIC



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