Group Health Centre announced Thursday morning that 10,000 people will lose their primary care provider and same day clinic services at the end of May of this year.
The announcement was made via zoom Thursday including Sault Ste. Marie Mayor and Sault MPP Ross Romano.
GHC CEO Lil Silvano made the announcement and also issued an open letter to the citizens of Algoma.
“Our community, like many others, has experienced challenges with the healthcare system, particularly in primary care. With its unique healthcare model, Group Health Centre (GHC) has sheltered our region from the nationwide primary care provider shortages that other communities have experienced. GHC has been instrumental in maintaining care for approximately 60,000 patients.” Silvano said.
The news is concerning to both Shoemaker and Romano. Both say they are actively working to find a solution to this problem and recruit more health-care professionals to the region.
In a social media post, Shoemaker wrote, “Today’s Group Health Centre announcement is a step back on our path to a healthy, vibrant and growing community. Our province is in the midst of a healthcare emergency, and it has impacted thousands of Sault residents. The City of Sault Ste. Marie needs Provincial support to address the primary care crisis.”
“The rate of new providers entering the field has not kept pace with retirements, and many existing primary care providers face burnout. Despite many proactive efforts, including extensive recruitment initiatives (locally and internationally), securing temporary providers, delaying retirements and re-engaging retired professionals, this situation is no longer sustainable.” Silvano said.