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Home New Release Last walk-in clinic in Mallorytown, Ont. to close Friday

Last walk-in clinic in Mallorytown, Ont. to close Friday

There’s more bad news on the local health-care front, as a walk-in clinic in Mallorytown is set to close its doors on Friday, which adds to a concerning trend across the province.

“They’re all devastated, they have nowhere to go,” said Suzanne Westgate, a Registered Practical Nurse.

Around 60 clients per week from as far away as Seeley’s Bay come to the Good Doctors Medical Clinics location in Mallorytown, but after Friday, it will be no more.

“There’s a change in OHIP codes, OHIP fee codes, that result in a cut in funding,” said Leo Liao, Good Doctors Medical founder and CEO.

Clinic owner Leo Liao says the Ontario government’s decision late last year to cut fees for virtual doctor visits is to blame for the pending closure.

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But he says, he doesn’t think his clinic should be lumped in with other virtual clinics, since there are staff on-site to work with patients in person.

A registered practical nurse takes in patients, assesses them and then contacts a doctor who oversees their care — a personal touch that patients at Mallorytown are upset to lose, to say the least.

“It’s like being kicked in the you-know-whats,” said clinic patient George Sparrow.

However, a group of Mallorytown residents isn’t letting the beloved local clinic go without a fight.

“It’s inconceivable and it’s irresponsible of our government to be cutting OHIP funding to this clinic,” said clinic patient Angie Cowan.

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Cowan said she’s started a petition to save the clinic and already has over 1,500 signatures.

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“It’s sad. I feel really bad for people,” said Westgate the clinic’s only RPN. She said she’s already found a new job but knows she’s leaving a community in need.

“You feel like you want to help them but there’s absolutely nothing you can do.”

“What else is available?” noted Sparrow. “Is there an alternate? I don’t know.”

The mayor of Front of Yonge Township said the municipality plans to advocate for the clinic with the health minister.

But Liao said if they can’t get clinics like his excluded from the fee cuts, his other Good Doctor clinics in Kingston and beyond will eventually have to shut down as well.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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