Status quo no option

Dear Mike:
There is a group of very concerned citizens who are working to find solutions to alleviate the physician shortage in our community.
The newly-formed board of Fort Frances Community Clinic is putting in countless hours to arrive at a practical solution for our present and future physicians.
We, the board, recognize there are concerns about the purchase of the Fort Frances Clinic and the formation of a Family Health Team. We also believe keeping the status quo is not an option.
The Family Health Team is a new way of looking after you, in that it will give your physicians a more comprehensive record of your care.
The Fort Frances Community Clinic board is a talented group of volunteers who are focused on the same goals that I believe we all want: access to front-line primary health care (your physicians) in a timely manner.
Health care is not a mandated responsibility of municipal government but the reality is, with the fierce competition for physicians, local governments across the north are involved in many aspects of health care, including, but not limited to, ownership of local clinics.
The council of the Town of Fort Frances had the vision to go down the path of a community-owned clinic.
Please let me be clear that the Fort Frances Community Clinic will not be owned by the Town of Fort Frances, but will be a not-for-profit corporation and a completely independent entity.
The Town of Fort Frances, once presented with a viable business plan, hopefully will see fit to be the financial backer of the community clinic. Support by way of the town’s offer of a fully repayable loan will give a significant boost to the community clinic and leave a solid future for health care in our community.
We are proud of the work that has been done to date and we look forward to a much brighter future for our health care in the weeks and months ahead. It is what we all want—and deserve.
Soon we hope to be able to tell you about the recruitment of nurse practitioners for the clinic, which will reduce wait times and workloads on our physicians.
What about the exciting possibilities of having students from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in our community to advance their education. Can’t you just imagine the possibilities of these students returning to Fort Frances in the future to bolster our physician numbers.
We are fortunate to be one of a handful of communities in Northern Ontario to host these students.
The challenges are, indeed, great but as we all seek solutions, the future is bright and we will get there.
I ask you to seek out our third article elsewhere in today’s edition, which I hope will further inform you about the Fort Frances Clinic and Family Health Team.
Respectfully submitted,
John D. McTaggart
Fort Frances
Community Clinic

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