NL Gazette

Joint clinics are being touted as an answer to N.L.’s doctor shortage

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • Clinics can help nearly 20,000 patients, says Eastern Health’s director of primary health care.
  • Melissa Coish is Eastern Health’s provincial director of primary health care and chronic disease prevention and management.

As Newfoundland and Labrador struggle with a need for family doctors, the regional government is touting collaborative-care clinics as one of the answers. But how do the clinics perform?

Melissa Coish, Eastern Health’s director of primary health care, states clinics will be able to link almost 20,000 patients to a doctor or nurse practitioner once they’re entirely staffed and let them see the health professional best prepared to support them.

“While you traditionally would have come through the door at a family practice and the doctor would have to meet all of your requirements effectively, you’ll be able to access things like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, a pharmacist, and social worker. To name a few,” Coish informed CBC News on Thursday.

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Newfoundland and Labrador struggle with a need for family doctors

“Those experts then will be able to unite around your care.”

About 100,000 citizens in the region did not have a family doctor in 2021.

Although the health-care system would be collaborative, Coish said, each person will still be connected to a doctor or nurse practitioner as their primary point of contact. The clinics seek to let professionals work within their scope of practice while managing patients’ needs as soon as possible.

Source – cbc.ca

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