Peterborough Family Health Team expands services, appointments at clinic

Click to play video: 'Peterborough doctor shortage still top of mind for officials'
Peterborough doctor shortage still top of mind for officials
RELATED: According to the Ontario Medical Association, there are 2.3 million Ontarians without a family doctor. By 2026 that number could reach 4.5 million. The crunch is also being feltin Peterborough, and now that one community organization has dropped out of physician recruitment the city is looking for a different plan. Tricia Mason has the story – Jan 19, 2024

The Peterborough Family Health Team is expanding services currently offered through its health clinic at two locations.

The clinic has increased the number of available appointments at its sites on King Street in Peterborough and on Strickland Street in Lakefield.

The clinic offers services to Peterborough city and county residents who do not have a primary care provider — that is, to “unattached patients” — to address acute and problem-specific needs.

According to the Ontario Medical Association, 2.3 million Ontarians were without a family doctor as of the end of January. It’s estimated that number will reach 4.4 million in two years — or roughly one in four Ontarians.

Unattached patients who have already visited the clinic at least once can now request an appointment to renew their prescriptions through online booking.

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Some non-urgent health concerns that can be addressed at the clinic include sore throat/ears, cancer screening, prescription renewals, women’s health/contraceptive counselling, growth and development concerns, new sprains/strains and chronic disease check-in.

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In March, the clinic will host “Don’t Be Late, Cancer Won’t Wait,” a cancer screening for unattached patients who have a cervix and are due for a pap test. The screenings will be held on March 14 and March 21.

Appointments can be booked on the same day or the following day, the family health team reports.

“We knew action must be taken to support the alarming number of unattached patients in this community,” said Duff Sprague, CEO of the Peterborough FHT.

“While we wait for the Ministry of Health to recognize the seriousness of the crisis in family medicine and primary care, we are using our limited resources to operate the PFHT Health Clinic. This is an interim solution. We are committed to the many thousands of area residents and will do all we can to support their access to high-quality, in-person care by a family doctor or nurse practitioner.”

Sprague states that the recent investments in primary healthcare, while positive, do not come close to ensuring that every Ontarian has access to family medicine and primary care teams.

“Not only is the number of physicians opening a family practice unable to fill the gaps made by those retiring or leaving a practice but add to that the four-year wage freeze in primary care teams that has fewer and fewer other clinicians choosing primary care,”  he said. “We are very fortunate to have many clinicians who stay in primary care despite the compensation inequities but without action, there will come a time when even the most passionate will leave primary care.”

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To book an appointment at the clinic, call 705-651-4866. For details or to renew a prescription, visit

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