The ownership group responsible for building the clinic is hoping to convince the province to employee a full-time nurse practitioner at the new facility, according to Concerned Citizens Committee chair Walter Dawe.
Dawe made the statement to the roughly 100 residents in attendance at a public information and question session for the private clinic, held June 12 at the Lewisporte Lions Club. The clinic’s project manager, Mike Pearce, recently met with Health Minister John Haggie to deliver a position paper on the subject.
“You can’t go out and say that it’s going to happen,” Dawe told residents. “All we did at that meeting was, it was a chance to plant a seed.”
The addition of a nurse practitioner, employed by the province in a private clinic, would be a first in the province according to Dawe. The move would also address the need for a women’s health practitioner in the region, according to Pearce.
“We’re trying to move forward, we’re trying to move communicate and set up meetings,” he said. “We’ve got a meeting with Central Health upcoming to look at a follow-up to the women’s health presentation we did for Dr. Haggie a month ago.”
Pearce also noted doctors at the new facility will be hired by the province under the fee per service model. The system means physicians are paid based on services rendered, instead of a set annual salary.
Residents did express some concerns at the meeting regarding the impact the new clinic could have to the current clinic. With doctors at both clinics being hired and paid under the same provincial system, it means the facilities will be in competition for doctors.
“Every single small community in rural Newfoundland and in the bigger areas are competing for a small pool of physicians,” said Pearce. “The existing clinic here now is in the same predicament.”
The Pilot contacted Haggie for comment, but at the time of publication had not received a response. The Pilot will provide updates as more information becomes available.