A new community health centre in Regina is taking a fresh approach to medical care.
The Gardens Community Health Centre offers its patients access to nurses, paramedics, therapists, a pharmacist and a nutritionist — in addition to its family doctors. This allows the medical professionals to work together to develop care plans for their patients.
While the Gardens is a family practice, due to the high population of seniors in the area, Dr. Winston Lok said one of the centre’s primary focuses is on the elderly.
“Our seniors can come to one place and be touched by many team members,” he said. “But also — if they’re not able to come here — with our team that is mobile, we’re able to go out and visit in their homes.”
Since the community health centre is able to zero in on complex needs and chronic conditions, Health Minister Jim Reiter said it’s bound to ease strain on the emergency departments and overall hospital wait times in the city.
“When you get the right care at the right time, frequently, it’s keeping people out of hospitals,” Reiter explained. “We think it’s going to help — not just emergency wait times in getting the actual service — but it’s going to help at keeping people in their homes.”
Dr. Lok agreed, saying his patients are noticing the benefits of the team-based care.
“We have already several good stories of patients, who have had follow-ups after hospital admissions, that got them out quicker, got them mobile quicker, and got them support at home. It’s so much more than we could ever do before,” he explained.
The Gardens is open seven days a week — including evenings, weekends and holidays.
It’s the first team-based health centre of its kind in Saskatchewan. A similar medical practice is in the works in Saskatoon.