Fort William’s only diagnostic imaging machines are heading toward Port Arthur.
The Fort William Clinic, which sees around 17,000 patients, houses the south side’s X-ray and ultrasound machines. Officials with the clinic announced that they would be moving to a new facility along Golf Links Road near the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
The X-ray and ultrasound equipment will be moving to the Port Arthur Clinic.
Dave Williams, president of both Fort William and Port Arthur Diagnostics, said he felt it was a good move to consolidate the two facilities into a central location. Williams had wanted to move to the new facility by the beginning of May, but said realistically it could take another few months.
“This was the only (diagnostic imaging) in Fort William,” he said. “It’ll take a little getting used to but we feel it isn’t a huge hurdle to overcome. We’re also taking our cue from the doctors moving and centralizing more. There seems to be a contraction of the medical community around the hospital.”
Williams said all of their equipment will be upgraded from using film to digital once they complete the move. He believes that this will help move patients through the clinic at a much faster pace.
Williams believes that the move will also reduce some of his costs.
All of the diagnostic exams done at the clinic are billed to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Williams said the province has reduced the amount that they pay making it even more important to find cost savings.
“It’s getting tight,” he said. “We have to find creative ways to find savings in our budgets.”
He added that all the staff will be transferred over to the Port Arthur facility.
Janice Latta, a patient at the Fort William clinic, said she didn’t mind the idea of driving to the other side of town. Although she understood some might be inconvenienced by the move, she said that as long as people could see their doctors she didn’t see anything wrong with the move.