Like many rural municipalities, the MD of Provost in east-central Alberta has been facing challenges with attraction and retention of healthcare professionals in its community. Its distance from major urban centres and its smaller, more spread-out population means that it can be difficult for medical practitioners to get established.
To deal with this issue, the MD, in collaboration with other local municipalities such as the Town of Provost and the Village of Amisk, built a community medical clinic for the region. The facility, known as the Provost Medical Centre, opened in 2021 in the Town of Provost to serve residents in the town, MD, and other neighbouring communities.
The clinic provides primary healthcare services such as family medicine, chronic disease management, mental health support, and preventive care. The clinic also serves as a hub for connecting patients with other healthcare providers and resources in the area.
“Physician recruitment, especially in rural Alberta that’s quite far away from the major cities, is quite an obstacle at times,” said Allan Murray, Reeve of the MD of Provost.
“Our philosophy here is that doctors can walk in, they can essentially start seeing patients, and all they do is cover the internal operating costs of the clinic within the doctor group.”
This “turnkey” approach to medical services has helped the region attract six physicians. The space also provides the community with a dental practice and a Primary Care Network location. The project has been very intentional and collaborative on all levels to ensure that it meets the needs of the community.
“We spent a lot of time working with our physicians, with our dental tenant, and with our Primary Care Network to meet the goal of an integrated facility to provide healthcare delivery for the community,” said Tyler Lawrason, CAO of the MD of Provost.
“This clinic is tangible outgrowth of council’s commitment to healthcare as a key pillar of community sustainability.”