A new health centre opening in Orléans is aiming to bridge a growing health-care gap in their ever-growing community.
The Tenth Line Medical Centre will be a sister facility to the Findlay Creek centre which opened in February, and it will offer a full range of services to families in the community.
"Orleans has been expanding for years now," said Tenth Line Medical Centre assistant director Alejandro Almendrades. "Communities like Avalon and Tenth Line sort of blew up a few years ago, building community centres, their presence, but there hasn't really been an attention to the medical and family health side in Orléans."
Almendrades expects the centre to open in late January or early February of the new year, and will offer six full-time family doctors when it launches, with room for another six physicians.
They'll also offer a physiotherapist and a chiropractor on-site as well as blood collection services so people don't have to make a second stop at a walk-in clinic for lab tests.
He said there's been such an overwhelming need for doctors in the area, they've had to start turning people away.
"There's been a lot of interest, so much so that we've had to tell people to be patient as we're setting everything up, but the need and desire for people to see a doctor has been a driving force for us since day one," he said.
With a shortage of doctors in the Ottawa area, people have been flocking to their new Findlay Creek location from all across eastern Ontario.
"I've been astonished at the lengths people will go to be seen by a doctor because of the scarcity of health-care practitioners in the Ottawa area," he said.
People have been calling their Findlay Creek clinic from all across the Ottawa Valley and even as far as Kingston to find a doctor.
Findlay Creek already has 10 doctors serving 9,000 patients, and since the Tenth Line Facility will be even bigger, that capacity can grow even more.
When they meet their goal of 12 full-time doctors, Tenth Line will be able to take on as many as 24,000 patients.
"With the rate the community is growing, there's going to be no trouble finding patients to visit the clinic," said Almendrades.
"It will be a facility that is going to be big enough to accommodate anyone looking for a family doctor."
There's been much hype about a new Orléans Family Health Hub being built by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, said to the first of its kind in Ontario.
But LHIN has been mum on the details of the project, only saying it will offer a "wide range of client-and-family based primary care and community services under one roof."
But Almendrades said he's not worried about competing with the new health centre.
"We're not in the business of competing with anybody," he said. "Our mission and goal is just to provide a service to communities that need it."
The health hub has already received funding from the provincial government, but an opening date hasn't been set in stone.
"It's always interesting from a business perspective to have more than one health centre in the area, but at the same time it's not something that's stressing us out because there are enough people and there's enough need that we'll be fine," said Almendrades. In the long run, the Tenth Line Medical Centre will focus on offering a full range of health services to area residents.
That will include everything from a nutritionist to mental health experts, family therapists and psychologists.
"Our goal is really to supply a complete gamut of health services to a family and their community," said Almendrades.
Residents can attend an open house at the health centre at 2301 Tenth Line Rd. on Nov. 21 and 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. to pre-register for a doctor.
Families can also pick up a registration form at the Shoppers Drug Mart beneath the clinic at any time.
Internet site reference: http://www.ottawacapitalcitynews.ca/2012/10/01/new-medical-centre-in-orleans-aims-to-close-health-care-gap