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Plans in the works for new community health clinic in Vernon

Council will be asked to provide a letter of support for a plan that would increase health care access for Vernon residents
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Vernon council will be asked to provide a letter of support for a plan to create a new not-for-profit community health clinic in the community at its next meeting Monday, May 27, 2024. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

A new community health clinic is being proposed to improve health care access for Vernon residents.

According to a report to council, the City of Vernon’s economic development department has been working with Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO) over the last six months to explore options to increase health care access for residents in the area.

Through this process, they have identified that a not-for-profit community health clinic would best meet the primary health care needs of the community.

“Access to health care is often cited as one of the considerations potential residents look at prior to relocating to a community for employment and/or lifestyle opportunities,” wrote John Perrott, manager of economic development and partnerships, in the report.

The community health clinic would complement existing primary care services in the North Okanagan by creating a new space for physicians and other health care professionals to practice.

The clinic would be funded by the Ministry of Health and managed by the CFNO, according to the proposal.

Work is underway to finalize an application to the Ministry of Health in early June, according to Perrott.

The application process requires the community to complete a consultation process with community stakeholder groups, and a business plan also needs to be developed.

“This work has been completed by a taskforce comprising of CFNO, Social Planning Council, Okanagan College, and City of Vernon Economic Development representatives,” Perrott wrote.

As part of the application package, the taskforce has been collecting letters of support from stakeholders and is now requesting one from the City of Vernon.

Council unanimously agreed to provide a letter of support for the clinic at its regular meeting Monday, May 27. Coun. Kari Gares was absent from the meeting.

It is currently unknown how long the application review process with the Ministry of Health will take, Perrott noted.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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