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Family Health Team improves walk-in clinic services

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M. McKinnon

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The Atikokan Family Health Team has been offering walk-in appointments at the clinic for about a year now, and is improving that service effective immediately.

Now, there will be a physician on duty at the clinic specifically for walk-ins from 1 to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

Previously, the physician handling the walk-in clinic was also responsible for covering the emergency department at Atikokan General Hospital. That meant, of course, that walk-in patients would sometimes face long waits before seeing the doctor.

“We want the community to know that the physician won’t be pulled away to the emergency department. The walk-in clinic is for patients who need immediate or urgent care, and works on a first-come, first-served basis,” said clinic manager Annette Tanner last week.  “It’s not meant to be a substitute for regular medical care.”

Tanner said that the clinic has been operating this way for several weeks. That trial has been successful, and the Family Health Team has decided to make it permanent.

Also, the Family Health Team is continuing to offer a new drop-in mental health clinic, Mondays 1 to 4 pm, at the Family Health Team office downstairs in the clinic building. A mental health counselor will be on duty, and can help people consider what help and supports are available and appropriate, and can assist with accessing those resources.

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