The vision became more of a reality when the trust’s board of directors approved a $250,000 grant to build a new clinic, which the district is hoping will retain doctors, improve access to medical services and decrease patient wait times.
“Chetwynd’s four physicians currently operate from an aged, inefficient build that is poorly laid out for medical purposes, and does not allow the physicians to effectively deliver services to residents,” a press release reads. “The current clinic not only makes it difficult for the community to attract new physicians, but also reduces overall investment interest from the private sector.”
The proposed facility, a $1.4 million project, would be the only clinic of its kind in Chetwtnd, housing medical offices, exam rooms and a waiting/reception area. A community wellness centre would be co-located in a general space at the clinic, where health education, group learning and outpatient services could also be conducted.
Some mental health services would also be relocated to the new clinic from their current locations at the Chetwynd Hospital.
“A new medical building accommodating more than four physicians and also functioning as a multidisciplinary clinic has always been my dream,” head Physician, Dr. Anton Venter said. “To hear the news that this will become a reality was beyond my expectations. We should give the District of Chetwynd and each individual who worked so hard on this project a huge amount of credit for their proactive and problem solving thinking.”
The trust’s $250,000 grant, the maximum allowance from its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, is also subject to confirmation of other funding sources.
The district is contributing an additional $100,000 towards the project, and is looking to borrow the remaining funding needed from the Municipal Finance Authority.