The Municipality of Powassan

507 Main Street, Powassan, ON P0H 1Z0 | 705-724-1020

News/Notices

Do you need a doctor in Powassan?

Powassan clinic starting a new database
Apr 09, 2018 by Laurel J. Campbell Almaguin News

POWASSAN — With an anticipated opening of its new location this summer, the Powassan and Area Family Health Team is planning for a ramp-up in its services.

“Things are really moving along inside the new building,” said Powassan and Area Family Health Team (PAAFHT) executive director Anna Gibson-Olajos during a presentation to council on April 3. “With the increased space we will be able to hire a full-time registered dietician, give our new registered practical nurse her own space and have room for another doctor.”

But room is not the only criteria for adding another physician to the Powassan health-care mix.


“Our funding agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care allows for us to have six physicians full time. Currently we have three full-time and two part-time. But, in order to undertake successful physician recruitment you need to have a certain number of patients who need a doctor,” said Gibson-Olajos. “That number is between 800 and 1000.”

“With the increased space we will be able to hire a full-time registered dietician, give our new registered practical nurse her own space and have room for another doctor,” Anna Gibson-Olajos.
The PAAFHT is asking anyone in the area who does not have a doctor to register that information with them.

“We are collecting names of patients who live in our catchment area who do not have a doctor. Names can be put on our website under complete privacy protection,” she said. “People can also call the office, but the data collection will be primarily on line.”

The ministry has previously encouraged people to call the provincial collection line at Health Care Connect to register their need of a family doctor, and while Gibson-Olajos is not discouraging this she says direct communication with the local health team will ensure that the needs in this area are known.

“Health Care Connect has a different system and asks a number of questions about your current health and health concerns,” she said. “We aren’t asking any of those questions. We just want the general information, the fact that you do no have a doctor, and how we can contact you.”

The catchment area is 2500 square kilometres that includes the municipality of Powassan and surrounding communities of East Ferris, Chisholm, Nipissing, Laurier to the east and Restoule Commanda, Arnstein, Golden Valley, Port Loring and Loring to the west.

Currently the King Street clinic is open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon. Each doctor covers one evening shift a week. Any extended clinic hours, including weekends are dependent on the addition of a new doctor.

“We have had doctors asking about joining us here and showing a real interest in locating in Powassan,” Gibson-Olajos said, “but as long as we are in the current building, we just don’t have any room to make that happen.”

She said there was no time frame associated between gathering enough names to secure a new physician and actually having one sign on.

“Those who have come to us before were looking to practice in the type of community and the type of medical clinic we provide. So adding a physician will depend on what that doctor is looking for.”

Mayor Peter McIsaac feels that “the new facility on Main Street should really help to encourage doctors to locate in Powassan.”

He feels that PAAFHT’s move in compiling a database of people without physicians is “a good initiative. I think everyone should try and promote this and encourage anyone out there that needs a doctor to register. This is the opportunity I know a lot of people in the area have been hoping for.”

If you live in the Powassan Family Health Team catchment area and are without a family physician, follow this link http://www.paafht.ca and click on the "Do You Need A Doctor" button at the top right side of the page.

by Laurel J. Campbell
Laurel J. Campbell is freelance journalist based in North Bay.

Email: ljcampbell@live.ca

©2019 Powassan & Area Family Health Team

507 Main Street, Powassan, ON P0H 1Z0 | 705-724-1020

Ontario