Health Minister Erin Selby announced that the second of three mobile clinics will begin seeing patients this fall in Southern Health-Santé Sud.
“Based on the success of our first mobile clinic in the Prairie Mountain Health region so far, we expect families in Southern Health-Santé Sud to quickly see benefits from this initiative,” said Minister Selby. “This mobile clinic is really a primary care clinic on wheels that will give people living in some of our smaller communities a convenient home base for their health needs.”
The Southern Health-Santé Sud mobile clinic will gradually introduce services first in the communities of Dominion City and Woodridge, followed by Plumas, Langruth and St. Ambroise, the minister said.
“This initiative is about putting people first and building care around the needs of our communities, and it will help people to access quality care on an ongoing basis no matter where they live,” said Kathy McPhail, chief executive officer, Southern Health-Santé Sud. “The mobile clinic will also help connect people to other health resources in the region and partnering health-care providers.”
Staffed by a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse and a driver, the clinic will offer services ranging from regular checkups to treating minor ailments and helping people manage a chronic disease or other serious condition, Minister Selby said, adding clinic staff will help ensure families in these communities receive the best care possible to meet their needs close to home.
There are two examination rooms in the unit. Nurse practitioners on the mobile clinic will be able to prescribe medications and can order diagnostic tests for their patients. Some of the tests, like blood tests, urinalysis and testing for some infections, will be done right on the spot during a visit to the clinic. Registered nurses will also be available to manage minor health issues and provide ongoing support.
Patients will be able to book an appointment by calling a toll-free number at the regional health authority when the clinic is up and running. Schedules will be provided in these communities as services are introduced. Details will be advertised locally and same-day appointments will be available. Health Links-Info Santé will also be able to inform Manitobans of the clinic’s schedule.
Manitoba’s first mobile clinic has been operating in the Prairie Mountain Health region since February 2014 and has connected many Manitobans to primary care services, the minister said, adding patient feedback has been very positive since it first hit the road last winter.
Mobile clinics, as part of the Family Doctor for All Strategy, provide Manitobans in underserviced rural communities with access to continuous, quality primary care, Minister Selby said.
Once in full service, each clinic is expected to be the primary care home for 1,000 Manitobans who currently do not have their own family doctor or nurse practitioner. Those who visit the clinic and have their own primary care provider will be asked if they want a report of the visit sent to their regular provider to ensure ongoing care if required.
The third clinic will serve the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority and is expected to be in service by summer 2015, Minister Selby added.