County takes control of medical centre in Port Dover

By David Judd

COUNTY council has taken control of the medical centre building on St. George Street.
The county will operate the facility to provide offices for doctors waiting to move to a new, private medical centre to be built in the Dover Coast development off Highway 6 on the east side of town.
Following a closed-door session last Tuesday, council terminated an agreement with Les Anderson of Simcoe to lease and manage the St. George Street building.
In an e-mail to The Maple Leaf, Mr. Anderson explained that it was financially unfeasible for him to maintain his lease.
In March, Mr. Anderson realized the centre’s expenses would continue to far exceed its limited revenue.
Mr. Anderson applauded Norfolk County for taking over the medical centre and last Tuesday approving $45,300 for urgently needed repairs.
Three doctors currently have offices in the St. George Street building, which has been renamed the County Medical Building.
Two more doctors are expected to join them this fall.
All five doctors have committed to practise at the Dover Coast medical centre expected to open next year.
Dover Coast developer John Lennox continues to work through the last details to obtain a building permit for his Port Dover Health and Wellness Centre.
In the meantime, Mayor Charlie Luke told The Maple Leaf that county staff are working extremely hard to make sure the new doctors will practise in Port Dover.
Mayor Luke said the county expects good news soon about attracting doctors and progress on building the Dover Coast centre.
Renovations on St. George Street, including new signs, will start immediately.
The building needs upgrades to continue to operate, Port Dover Coun. John Wells told county council.
He said the work would make the county-owned building easier to sell after doctors move to Dover Coast.
Norfolk bought the St. George Street building from a group of doctors for $600,000 in 2008.
Pharmacist Steve Willaert leased and operated the building from 2014 until last year when council approved selling it to a volunteer committee that sought to accommodate new doctors there until it could construct a new medical centre on county land near the arena.
The sale failed to go through after the group came up short on financing.
Mr. Anderson then stepped forward to lease and manage the St. George Street building until doctors could move to the Dover Coast medical centre, hopefully this fall.
If nothing had been done, Dr. Malo, Dr. Bajwa and Dr. Kang probably would not have offices in Port Dover today, Mr. Anderson said in his e-mail to The Maple Leaf.
The county took control to keep the ball rolling until the Dover Coast centre is ready, Coun. Wells said in an interview.
Attracting five doctors is a good return on the county’s investment, he said.
The group of new doctors has applied to the Ministry of Health to be recognized as a Family Health Organization with a focus on preventive care, Coun. Wells said.

Posted: May 17, 2017

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