Nurse practitioner clinic to stay open in Quebec City
A nurse practitioner clinic in Quebec City will be able to keep its doors open after all thanks to a change of heart by the health minister.
The only clinic of its kind in the province, there are no doctors in the small building housing the SABSA cooperative. It treats more than 1600 patients, including many with drug addictions or mental health issues – a vulnerable clientele.
For months, the clinic has been facing the threat of closure because of a lack of funding. It had been largely funded by the FIQ nurses’ union, but when that money dried up, the clinic turned to the province.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette turned them down, saying the nurses should work within larger centres in the healthcare network.
In the spring, the clinic was forced to stop taking walk-ins because of a lack of resources.
“We had to stop to give ourselves time to figure out how we were going to continue,” said SABSA coordinator Emanuelle Lapointe.
The clinic began a fundraising campaign in April and by the end of the June, reached its target of $250,000.
Now, SABSA has reached an agreement with the heatlh ministry.
In the new partnership, the clinic will work alongside the local CIUSSS – the regional health authority – which means more resources and government funding to pay for the salaries of a nurse practitioner and a social worker.
The clinic keeps its unique mandate and its autonomy, but the health authority will oversee it and give staff additional training.
“It's a win-win-win situation,” said Barrette. “It's a win for the patients, a win for the personnel who are dedicated, and a win for us because we are providing services in the way that we want, that is an integrated way at a cost we can afford.”
Thanks to the agreement with the province and SABSA's fundraising campaign, the clinic plans to start accepting walk-in patients again in September.