New Minas walk-in clinic to close as doctor plans to leave province
'That's been our only medical care,' says patient
A private walk-in clinic in New Minas is closing at the end of the month, the most recent in a slew of clinic and doctor's office closures across the Annapolis Valley.
Dr. Yuri Canete and his wife, Ann, who also works in the clinic, declined an interview, but confirmed that the clinic will be closed as of July 1. They are planning to move out of the province to be closer to their children.
Canete is the most recent of a handful of doctors in the Annapolis Valley leaving their practices, though most are retiring.
It is leaving many residents in the area wondering how they'll be able to access primary care.
Cherise Dupuis, a mother of two who lives in Coldbrook, said she's disappointed to hear that the clinic is closing. She owns a consignment store across the street from the Lawtons that houses the clinic
"Whenever we go in there, it's super quick. We don't have to wait, we get in within five minutes," she said. "That's unheard of."
Families rely on clinic
Dupuis said even though she has a family doctor in Wolfville, the wait times can be a few weeks. She often relies on the walk-in clinic when it comes to primary care for her two young children.
"There aren't a lot of places in the [Annapolis] Valley to go to begin with," she said. "A lot of people in the Valley don't have family doctors, so a lot of people already go to emergency for the smallest things."
Amanda Pace, a mother of three living on Gaspereau Mountain, doesn't have a family doctor.
"We've been on the list for a family doctor for I don't know how long, and haven't gotten a call," Pace said.
She said other than going to outpatients, the clinic has been her family's only source of medical care.
Pace and her children have been going to the New Minas clinic for years. Walk-ins start when the clinic opens at 8:45 a.m., or patients can call at 10 a.m to book an appointment, she said.
"At first it wasn't too bad, you could call in," she said. "As they got so overloaded, if you waited til 10 o'clock to call in, they'd already be full for the day."
Nearest walk-in clinic in Wolfville
The next closest walk-in clinic is in Wolfville. Pace said she's heard of similar overloads there.
"I just see everything in the area getting more overloaded, and I know we were so fortunate to have the walk-in," she said.
"There's towns that don't even have a walk-in, so I know that we were really fortunate that we had quick access to a doctor. And now we don't have that anymore. He was an absolutely incredible doctor, so he's going to be missed."
The Nova Scotia Health Authority has no replacement for Canete because the clinic is not operated by NSHA, said a spokesperson.
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