St. Paul sets the bar for family clinics
Ryan McCracken video
Premier Alison Redford made a stop in St. Paul on Aug. 17 as part of her Building Alberta Tour, and pointed to the Wellness Centre as a prime example of what she feels a Family Care Clinic should represent.
“It's an incredibly beautiful building. The primary care network is working so well, great doctors in the community. But I really wanted to thank the council for their incredible leadership in working with the primary care network and doctors in the community to provide even more enhanced, better, different health services for people both in St. Paul and the region,” Redford said in front of the Wellness Centre on Saturday morning.
“The most important part about what's going to happen to Alberta in the future is that we want to make sure that communities are thriving everywhere. So a Family Care Clinic ensures that there's opportunity for healthcare services in communities so that people don't have to commute into Edmonton for services. That really enhances the quality of life for people in the province of Alberta and particularly in this region. We were saying, that really, St. Paul has set the bar for what this will be, so I'm very excited about it.”
Minister of Infrastructure Wayne Drysdale echoed the Premier's sentiments, and added that family care clinics should be unique to the areas that they service.
“This is the premier's vision, these Family Care Clinics,” he said. “Health Minister (Fred) Horne announced 24 clinics across the province and they all come to us and say, 'what's it look like, what's in there?' Congratulations to the Mayor and the town, because they get it. They're building what they need for their community. They're not cookie cutters, each FCC is built for the needs of the community, and is driven by the community, not the province.”
A public meeting has been set for Sept. 5, where community members are encouraged to come voice their opinions on what additions should be made to the north wing of the clinic.
“I know that the Mayor has briefed us on the fact that there will be meetings happening on Sept. 5 with the community to make sure that we fully identify, both as a provincial government and as a local government and regional councils, the services that need to be in the building,” said Redford.
“On the north side right now we have a shell of a building, and the reason for that is we want to make sure that we're putting the right technology in, the right electrical in, the right plumbing in to provide those services. This will not be a building with just empty offices that are medical exam rooms. There will be diagnostics in here, there will be labs in here, there may very well be X-rays in here.”
Mayor Andersen said the public meeting will be another step in the process toward making diverse health care services available in St. Paul
“What we've been told is that we've been working through the process with Alberta Health Services and the health minister,” said Andersen. “This is just another part of the process where we get the community involvement in the process, and like the premier indicated we want to identify what exactly is required in the other part of this wellness centre.”
Redford added that she expects the Wellness Centre to be fully completed and offering services to residents of St. Paul and the surrounding area within the next 18 months.
“In terms of timing we are very excited about getting these clinics up as soon as possible,” said Redford. “There's lots of different services, and so once we start building it's going to take some time, but our expectation is that well within 18 months there will be people coming into the family care clinic here and getting services that they can't otherwise get right now in St. Paul.”
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