Island Health says it has taken another key step, sustaining primary care in Port McNeill by establishing a health authority-owned and operated clinic.
The Mount Waddington Regional Hospital District (MWRHD) has purchased the building and land at 2161 McNeill Road and it will be used as the permanent location of Island Health’s primary care clinic.
“Access to primary care services plays a critical role in the overall health and well-being of communities,” says MWRHD board chair, Andrew Hory. “We are proud to support Island Health as they work towards their vision of a health authority owned and operated primary care clinic for Port McNeill and region.”
Island Health says it’s upgrading the building to create an optimal patient and provider experience. Staff is also working closely with local Indigenous communities to not only create a culturally safe environment but to give the clinic a name reflective of the history of the region.
While upgrades are completed at the permanent clinic location, Island Health says it will operate within both the McNeill Road location and its temporary clinic at 1584 Broughton Boulevard. Island Health plans to move all operations to the McNeill Road location by the end of August. To book an appointment, call 1 (866) 956-2007.
As well, Island Health says it’s working closely with Dr. Prean Armogam, the physician who was working out of the privately owned and operated clinic located at 2161 McNeill Road.
Earlier this year, Port Hardy’s Anita Harvie started an online petition calling on Island Health to hire Dr. Armogam for the new medical clinic coming soon to Port McNeill.
“Dr. Armogam has indicated to Island Health that he will continue his outreach work to the communities of Woss, Rivers Inlet, Zeballos, and Sointula, as well as continue to support the Port McNeill Hospital and community. This is a significant clinical workload and we are thankful for Dr. Armogam’s ongoing support and dedication to these communities,” reads an Island Health release.
During this transition, Island Health says it’s providing Dr. Armogam with clinic space and administrative office support at Woss, Sointula, and Port McNeill to help support his private practice.
“He will continue to have space in the health authority owned and operated clinics to conduct his practice as permanent clinicians are recruited to the community,” Island Health says, noting, “Recruitment of additional permanent physicians to live and work in Port McNeill is ongoing and Island Health is pleased to share that the new clinic model is leading to significant interest from physicians in B.C. and across Canada. We hope to have news to share in the near future.”
Gaby Wickstrom, Mayor of Port McNeill, says creating a welcoming, supportive environment where physicians want to relocate to is critical. “The Town of Port McNeill fully supports Island Health, and we are excited to see a new vision for primary care emerging,” she adds.
Locals with questions about accessing primary care in Port McNeill can call 1 (866) 956-2007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.