The Ottawa Hospital is closing the endoscopy clinic at its Riverside campus in 2013 to save about $1 million.
Hospital officials say the number of colonoscopies and endoscopies performed at its three Ottawa campuses will be cut by a third, but the move will change the focus to providing care for patients needing complex or hospital-based care.
The Riverside clinic has performed about 6,000 procedures per year of the 17,000 total at The Ottawa Hospital. Officials also said between 4,000 and 6,000 procedures are not urgent, which are mostly colonoscopies.
"The community infrastructure has the resources to manage the less acute cases out there," said Cameron Love, senior vice-president of clinical programs at the hospital.
The more serious cases are treated at the General and Civic campuses and that will not change, Love added.
Community clinics to help
He also said there would be layoffs as a result of the clinic closing.
Russell Kronick, who owns the Ottawa Endoscopy and Day Surgery Centre, disagreed with Love, saying community clinics already have six-week waits for appointments.
Kronick said he wonders how patient care would be affected if more cases come to his clinic.
"If all of a sudden clinics like ours are asked to absorb 5,000 to 6,000 patients, who is going to do them? How long are the wait times going to be in clinics like ours?" he wondered aloud.
Kronick said he might consider expansion or hiring more staff if patients flock to his clinic.
But for The Ottawa Hospital, they believe other area facilities such as the Montfort and Queensway-Carleton hospitals have capacity to perform more colonoscopies and endoscopies.