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Tired of doctor shortages, Fort Nelson looks to build its own healthcare centre

An artists' rendering of the Northern Rockies Community Health Centre (northernrockies.ca).

Tired of dealing with doctor and healthcare shortages, a remote community in northeast British Columbia has decided to take matters into its own hands.

Fort Nelson only has three doctors, and hasn't had full maternity services in years.

So now the municipality is looking at buildings its own 7.4 million dollar health centre that would be unique in B.C. 

The health centre would provide family doctors, mental health, and public health all under one roof.  

Fort Nelson Economic Development Officer Jaylene Arnold says they hope this model will be attractive to new physicians. 

"It's really creating that supported environment, the ultimate work environment," she says. 

Arnold says the province won't be involved in funding the facility. Instead, the municipality in seeking approval for a loan of 7.4 million dollars to build it. 

Residents have until June fourth to submit their opposition. If at least 10 percent are opposed, the municipality will hold a referendum in the fall. 

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