New Primary Care Centre still on track for fall opening

Photo provided by Northern Sunrise County

Susan Thompson
Express Staff

Despite some delays to roofing work due to the recent cold weather, the new primary care centre in Peace River is still on track for a fall opening.

According to an update released by Northern Sunrise County and shared by the Town of Peace River, the new medical clinic is also still on budget.

“The roof has been sealed, we are putting walls up as we speak, the gyprock is getting put in and the wiring is almost completed,” said Reeve of Northern Sunrise County Carolyn Kolebaba.

“So we hopefully will be in that building by fall. We’re hoping before November.”

“It’s been at times a little bit of a struggle, but we are up for the challenge and we’ll have a great facility for the doctors in the future.”

“Building a medical clinic is not the same as building just an ordinary building,” she explained.

“The materials you use inside that facility have to be a certain standard and they have to work with different bacterias, things like that. Colours of paint have to work with how some of the testing is done [because] different colours will distort some of the results.”

“It’ll be state of the art as best we can make it within the confinements of the $5 million that we have donated to that cause.”

When the facility is finished it will be turned over to Alberta Health Services (AHS) and they will operate it.

Besides the $5 million contributed by Northern Sunrise County, the new clinic has also been funded in part by local municipalities the Municipal District of Peace 135 and the County of Northern Lights, as well as receiving over $500,000 in funding from the Town of Peace River, making it a truly regional effort.

The new clinic, located on the west hill of Peace River, will be 14,500 square feet and house offices for physicians as well as 28 exam rooms.

An agreement was already signed last May between AHS and the nine physicians currently working out of the existing Peace River medical clinic who will move to the new facility.

“The doctors feel we can get fourteen doctors in there,” Kolebaba said. “We are working with the other doctors to get new ones coming onstream. It will mean that eight to ten more patients can be seen a day. So that’s good news for patients because if you have some medical issues, time is maybe not on your side.”

Kolebaba said the new physicians currently being recruited thanks to the new facility will also bring new expertise.

“We have doctors that we are drawing because of the clinic and because of the hospital, and they will bring along with them expertise that our people need in the north to be able to have some of those tests done here that they would have had to go into Grande Prairie or maybe Edmonton to get done.”

Kolebaba noted the new clinic is next to the new Rotary House and the hopsital, meaning all medical services will be located in one central local area.

“We’re grateful that all of these things will combine to create a hub for medical,” she said. “The doctors are excited, AHS is excited, and we certainly are.”

“We’re very proud of our council that has supported the endeavours of the medical clinic and how it’s moving forward. We are visionaries for sure and we’re grateful to be able to have the opportunity to contribute.”

 

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