It makes me angry well-educated doctors in our city are so ill-informed. I have investigated some of the claims made in the letter and would like to set the record straight with some facts.
The building will be renovated by the Ministry of Health for the clinic to be established in Lively. The building will be leased to the ministry and clinic by the city for nominal fee of $1. This building was not being used for any other purpose.
It is the mandate of the Ministry of Health that whenever possible, family health teams and nurse practitioner clinics be established in buildings that are publically owned so that rents can be better controlled. The city of Greater Sudbury, through the efforts of Coun. Jacques Barbeau, arranged for the lease. The new clinic will be state-of-the-art with services to include nurse practitioners, doctors, dietitian, social worker and pharmacist. It will be a one-stop medical service. This is the way of the future, as directed by the ministry. This facility would not have been able to locate in the area where Dr. Koop is located. Patients served by the clinic will not have a primary health-care provider before applying.
The claim the clinic was planned in secrecy is simply not true. The process to open the clinic has been in the process for more than a year. The issue has been before city of council and sub-committees at numerous times. All of these are public. Lively is a small town, news of the clinic has been talked about for months.
Dr. Koop's claim of providing medical services to Lively for 40 years must take a back seat to the McGruther family, who provided medical services to Creighton, Lively and Copper Cliff for the past 63 years. Marilyn Butcher, who is the clinic director of the clinic, is the daughter of Dr. McGruther. In addition, Marilyn and her family have lived in the community for their entire lives as contributors to the success of medical care in Lively.
There are one million Canadians without primary health care in Canada. Thirty thousand of them live in Sudbury and more than 5,000 of them live in the Walden/Copper Cliff area. Members of my family are in those ranks.
Without a primary health care provider these five thousand citizens of Walden and Copper Cliff must receive a patchwork of health care by walk-in clinics and going to the emergency department at the hospital. This is poor way to receive health care.
Again, I'm ashamed of all the fuss over this issue. Let these professionals carve their niche and diminish the critical need for people who are willing to supply quality health care. There is an excellent article in this month's Best Health Magazine that puts a positive spin on the work of nurse practitioners in our country.
I welcome the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics to Lively and wish them success. They've earned it.
Mary Henderson, Lively
Originally published in The Sudbury Star