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This article was published 5/9/2018 (1111 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg community health centre is seeking to fast-track matches between primary care providers and some of the city’s most vulnerable people.
Pathway Project has already linked primary care providers at Centre de santé Saint-Boniface to more than 80 people who would otherwise have no health care, or who would visit hospital emergency rooms for multiple health concerns.
To make the match, the health centre — which offers bilingual services to the French-speaking population of Winnipeg — works with community organizations and provincial programs to help people with urgent medical needs fill out the registration form and contact the centre to set up an appointment within three days.
"The general public can contact the Family Doctor Finder program. But for those who find it difficult to navigate the system, are homeless or do not have access to a telephone, we have developed this fast-track process," clinic executive director Monique Constant said in a news release Tuesday.
The clinic matches patients to doctors, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and other health-care providers by working with community organizations and provincial programs such as employment and income assistance.
Primary care nurse Renée Moquin said the program offers help to patients who feel marginalized.
"They are often discouraged and think they will not find a care provider, so they are very grateful for these connections," Moquin said.
If a patient doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment, the clinic follows up with the community agency that made the connection.
"We try and get the person to come back in. We know it’s not always easy for them, but we don’t want them to fall through the cracks," Moquin said.
Some patients haven’t seen a doctor in decades, including some because they haven’t found a French-speaking health provider, the health centre said.
"Once we make the connection, our clients are able to deal with long-standing health issues, which can be the first step for them in putting their lives back together," Moquin said.
Approximately 1,500 people are homeless in Winnipeg at any given time, according to 2018 statistics compiled by streetcensuswpg.ca.
The St. Boniface health centre (located at 170 Goulet St.) has 11 doctors, two nurse practitioners and six primary care nurses on staff for the new program.