ST-BRUNO-DE-MONTARVILLE – This time last year, the city of Saint-Bruno had three major health clinics to serve a population of about 26,000 people.
Since December, things have changed considerably – two of the three health clinics have closed shop.
The St-Bruno Medical Clinic on Roberval street moved, and the Clinique Du Lac also ceased operations a few weeks ago.
About 10,000 patients were affected.
The only clinic left in St-Bruno, Clinique Medicale de l’Atelier, has been trying to pick up the slack.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t get asked can we take new patients,” says Dr. Elizabeth Falls.
Dr. Falls is one of just five family doctors at the clinic.
In recent weeks, she has been warning her patients about more bad news.
The owner of the building where the clinic is located has plans to tear down the facility to make way for an expansion project for a nearby grocery store.
Demolition work is slated to begin next summer.
Some residents of the South Shore town are worried the doctors will pick up, and move to a neighbouring community.
Dr. Caroline Nadeau, another family doctor from the Clinique Medicale de l’Avenir, told Global News the group of medical specialists are looking across the Monteregie for a building that fits their needs.
“We are not limited to St-Bruno,” says Dr. Nadeau.
“Some patients feel for sure you will stay in St-Bruno but it’s not that easy.”
St-Bruno city officials are rolling out the red carpet to keep the doctors from relocating.
They are backing a new project that will see a state-of-the-art clinic built on an empty lot on Roberval Street.
“It will be a pharmacy on the ground floor,’ says city councillor Marilou Alarie.
“The second floor will be a clinic that will house 10 doctors.”
Doctors from the Clinique Medicale de l’Atelier say “it’s not a done deal.”
“We’re concerned about the higher rent,” says Dr. Falls.
“There are no guarantees we are going.”
© Shaw Media, 2014