Kawartha North FHT proposes to take over closed Minden ER

June 13, 2023

Yahoo News published an article  June 11, 2023

CBC News published an article June 20, 2023

Yahoo news By James Matthews

Many Minden Hills residents would like to reopen the recently closed emergency department at the local health facility.

And one resident in particular has what could be a viable idea to reopen the doors that were permanently closed June 1. Minden resident Marina Hodson was to describe her idea during a special meeting of township council June 5.

The council meeting was to take place after The Times’ deadline.

Hodson, the executive director of the Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT), said in a press release that the team sent an expression of interest to Ontario Health to receive funding for an eight-hour a day, seven days a week service at the Minden emergency department.

KNFHT is a community-based family health team serving the residents of the northern parts of the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, and Trent Lakes. They have provided access to primary health care by nurse practitioners, physicians, and nursing staff in Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon since 2007.

The team has also operated unfunded walk-in clinics, paid for by the generous donations of local residents, since 2012.

As with physicians, nurse practitioners are authorized by the College of Nurses of Ontario to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications and other treatments for patients. They can work independently without a supervising physician and can also prescribe all medications including controlled substances.

The KNFHT proposal is for an urgent care clinic at the shuttered former Minden emergency department.

“We are aware that, ideally, the site would continue to operate as an emergency department and we still hold out hope that this will be the case in the future,” Hodson said. “Unfortunately, this is not a service we are able to apply for or deliver.

“In light of this, we felt strongly that the option of an urgent care clinic would provide the best opportunity to continue to have health care services locally for the residents of Minden Hills.”

Urgent care services are for people who have unexpected but non-life-threatening health concerns that usually require same-day treatment.

“Additionally, we are proposing some primary care for patients who do not currently have a primary care provider,” Hodson said.

She dismissed the notion that the proposal could be a step toward privatized health care services.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “KNFHT is a charitable non-profit agency receiving it’s funding for daily operations from the Ministry of Health.”

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