Residents react to new private clinic in Brockville

Photo via Care & Co Facebook.

Private healthcare clinic Care & Co. recently opened in their newly renovated location at 4081 Highway 29 in Brockville, Ontario.

While some residents will surely welcome local privatized medical care, others are concerned about how this shift in the health care system will play out in the coming years. 

Care & Co. says its “ethos” is to “work with individuals on a personalized level to transform and streamline their experiences within the healthcare framework.”

Their packages consist of a primary care membership, which includes personalized and comprehensive health and wellness assessment, unlimited in-person or virtual appointments, quick access to appointments, prescriptions reviews and renewals, and specialist referrals. 

The clinic also offers skin assessments, cardiovascular screening, peri/menopause navigation, TB testing, and more.

According to the clinic, they also collaborate with local long-term care and retirement homes to assist with care that they may need for their residents.

We spoke with Brockville locals and co-owners of Care & Co. Elizabeth Meyer and Hannah McCuen to hear more about their journey opening the clinic. “Care & Co was a concept that was developed over the course of two years. Due diligence was completed, analysis of the 1000 Islands region regarding what was an affordable way to access medical services and the need, and the method of delivery,” they said in correspondence with the Brockvilleist.

The local business partners say they met with business advisors in the area and contacts across North America to develop and hone their business concept. They were able to secure a business space and renovations were completed in early 2024.

After two years of planning and preparation, their first patients were able to access services at the end of April 2024. 

When asked why they chose the city of Brockville to open their clinic, McCuen and Meyer explained,“It was important that the business was something that was local and something that benefits the community that we love. As a part of our business plan, we also developed partnerships with local agencies and community service organizations to develop pathways for referral. Healthcare is a pillar that makes a community a viable option for creating a life and is truly a part of the economic development structure. Healthy people create and maintain healthy businesses! When your workforce is healthy, and has access to services to maintain their health – communities thrive!” 

“When we were doing the initial research into this concept, we spoke with many local business owners to assess what needs they may also have, and if the shortage of healthcare had any impact on the attraction and retention of skilled workers, and the decision to purchase homes in this area,” they continued. “This was met with a resounding yes! A part of the business structure that we have, also includes packages for employers to access care for their staff.”

As Ontario residents are noticing more and more privatized clinics like Care & Co. emerge around the province, it’s leaving some feeling unsettled and wondering why they are paying for private healthcare when they already pay taxes that ostensibly funds the public healthcare system.

One healthcare worker employed at Brockville General Hospital, who spoke with Brockvilleist on the condition that they remain anonymous, said, “I don’t feel private clinics are the solution. We need to focus on fixing the public system.” 

.“Private clinics have the potential to pull staff from our already short staffed hospitals and pull funding from our already underfunded hospitals by offering OHIP covered procedures that used to bring funding into hospitals and create further inequity of access,” the worker continued.

Mallorytown resident Patricia Mooibroek, who is retired from a long career in Human Services, also shared her thoughts on the matter. Mooibroek stated, “Choice is always something I advocate for. I have not been a heavy user of our healthcare system but know many have had long waits and delayed surgeries for various reasons. These reasons land as excuses for those in pain and waiting for services.”

“Having alternatives, such as more walk-in clinics and private clinics, will take some pressure off the ERs and wait times,” she continued. “The challenge is how to staff all these options as we already have a shortage of doctors.”

“If private clinics help alleviate the stresses on the system then this is good for all of us. The system has had years to right itself and make the need for private healthcare non-existent and it has not accomplished this. We have two tiered health care now but even with these services, we still have wait times,” Mooibroek concluded.

In response to these criticisms, McCuen and Meyer explained that “the Ministry is already extensively investing to correct the provincial primary care capacity challenges.  However, in our current state, unattached community members are often waiting years to be rostered with a primary care practitioner. The shortage of community healthcare services forces community members to seek care from virtual and/or walk-in clinics, which provide little continuity of care, which is so important in ensuring preventative care, disease detection and early intervention.”

“In the absence of these options,” they elaborated, “community members will frequent their local emergency department, often waiting many hours, to be assessed and treated for non-urgent issues. This in turn, contributes to avoidable emergency room crowding, extreme wait times, and incoming ambulance off loading delays. Until such time the benefits of the ministry’s investments come to fruition; we believe we are providing an affordable option for timely access to excellent primary care services.”


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