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Council hears clinic update

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The “table is set” for new physicians to set up shop in Fort Frances, the chair of the Fort Frances Community Clinic said at last night’s council meeting.

“We have now completed one year since the purchase of the building. We’re in our tenth month since taking responsibility of the staff of the building,” noted John McTaggart, who presented council with the clinic’s 2007/08 annual report last night.

“We’re making great strides to make Fort Frances Community Clinic a very viable operations for any future physicians we’re able to attract to the community.

“I think we’re on target and we’re making the progress that we need to make,” he added.

McTaggart clarified that some people may think the clinic’s operating model is “a free ride for the physicians.”

“In fact, it’s not,” he stressed. “I want to assure you they’re paying more than their fair share in ways of rent and staffing costs, and they’re getting a terrific partner in the Fort Frances Community Clinic through their entity [Nelson Medicine Professional Corp.]”

McTaggart noted the whole intent of having a non-profit, community-owned clinic operating under the Family Health Team model was to make it more attractive for physicians to come here.

He added clinic administrator Marlis Bruyere, who recently engaged in a doctor recruitment tour along with Maureen Gartshore, chair of the Fort Frances Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, said there were some leads on doctors that will be followed up on, but no new doctors have been signed at this point.

“I think what we’ve done is prepared ourself. We’ve set the table, now we need to let our recruitment and retention [committee] do their job,” said McTaggart.

McTaggart also noted the other members of the board should be recognized for their hard work.

“I have to say we really do have an outstanding board of directors who really do care about the clinic and the community, and the services delivered in this community,” he said.

Mayor Roy Avis agreed the board should be recognized for the “perseverance and commitment” it’s shown over the past couple years.

“It’s very, very good for the community, and I think in the near future we should stat seeing some rewards,” he remarked.

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