O’LEARY — One of the doctors who is in the process of moving out of the government-owned O’Leary Health Centre into a privately owned health clinic, admits the move could end up costing him extra.
But Dr. Gil Grimes said the advantages of a private clinic make it worthwhile.
The two doctors are practising out of the West Prince Family Health Clinic, which opens today, recently held an open house, giving interested residents a tour of the 1,500-square-foot clinic. Guardian Drug built a 1,200-square-foot extension to the back of its Main Street store to accommodate Grimes, Dr. Katherine Burleigh and two staff members.
Burleigh said there was space available upstairs, but it was more cost-effective to add on than to install an elevator. The whole facility is wheelchair accessible.
“This is better for me in the sense that I have more flexibility here,” Grimes said in explaining why he opted to move to a private clinic. “Health P.E.I. does a good job as a department, but... it’s hard to make something that big and complicated change very quickly,” he said, explaining he wants to be able to modify his schedule on the fly and modify the way he sees his patients.
One of the major changes being incorporated into the new clinic is electronic records.
It’s something that was due to come to the Health Centre at some point, but Grimes said he grew impatient.
An electronic records system, Burleigh added, “lets us do things much more efficiently.”
Burleigh graduated from medical school in June and has been working out of the walk-in clinics in O’Leary and Tyne Valley since October. She was recently assigned her first block of 500 patients from the registry and will start filling appointments at the West Prince Family Health Clinic next week.
Some of the people attending the open house introduced themselves to her and indicated they were notified that she would be their new doctor. Burleigh said she will be accepting only patients assigned to her by the registry. She will also continue to work out of the O’Leary walk-in clinic one day a week for the foreseeable future.
Besides the two doctors, a front desk receptionist and a bookkeeper will work out of the new clinic. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Grimes said some evening and weekend hours might be added later.