The closure of Mallorytown’s only virtual walk-in clinic a few weeks ago was devastating news for area residents.
But following the health minister’s announcement on Thursday that Ontario plans to fund 150 nurse practitioners, there’s hope that one of them could end up in the small town near Brockville.
Two area residents, Angie Cowan and Alison Wilson, are counting the number of signatures they’ve gathered on their petition, calling for the return of medical services to the Mallorytown area.
The Good Doctor clinic closed its doors at the start of the year after the province reduced the fees that virtual clinics can charge, from $37 to $20.
Now, some new hope has arrived.
“We’re delighted,” says Cowan.
“We’re not just going to have a virtual clinic, we’re going to have a nurse practitioner and that’s wonderful news. Now we have to find one, obviously.”
Fuelling their hope is their MPP Steve Clark, who vows to fight to get a nurse practitioner in Mallorytown.
“You know Mallorytown will be at the front of the line,” says Clark.
Clark says he’s already got the ball rolling on getting one of those nurse practitioners to Front of Yonge.
“I’ve already been in contact with the provincial Health Ministry, already got some things in motion,” he says.
Also, the municipality is moving as fast as it can too, says Front of Yonge Mayor Roger Haley.
“The working group will get together next week and try to finalize a plan,” says Haley.
“We don’t know exactly who or where we’re going to find that nurse practitioner — there’s a couple of possibilities, hopefully somebody in the community itself.”
But until the deal is sealed, Cowan and Wilson will continue to count the signatures on their petition.
“I’m not totally convinced yet,” says Wilson.
“Something else has to happen for me to know that this is going to go forward.”
Hopefully that ‘something else’ will be a nurse practitioner seeing local patients in their own community.
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