Open Letter to the Community Regarding Access Care Clinic

May 29, 2024

Open Letter to the Community Regarding GHC Access Care Clinic

Dear Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma District,

Three months ago, we made an announcement that brought the crisis in primary care into sharp focus—10,000 patients would be losing access to primary care due to a shortage of Primary Care Providers. This news has understandably caused significant concern and anxiety within our community.

Today, I am pleased to share that with the support of MPP Ross Romano and funding from the Ministry of Health, we are launching the GHC Access Care Clinic.  The clinic offers a temporary but essential service designed to address the immediate needs of GHC patients who are being de-rostered on or after May 31 and who have not secured another primary care provider. This clinic, led by Nurse Practitioners, will provide continued access to healthcare services for those affected.

The GHC Access Care Clinic will offer vital services to our community, including urgent and episodic care, access to chronic disease symptom management, prescription maintenance and ongoing referral management. Clinic patients will have continued access to GHC programs and services. While not a replacement for Primary Care Providers, the clinic services will act as a bridge to provide essential care management as we continue to work to attract more providers to join our team.  Our goal is to mitigate the impact of the primary care shortage while reducing the strain on the Emergency Department and other healthcare services.

Located at GHC’s 170 East Street location on the 3rd floor, the Access Care Clinic will initially operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic will initially offer same-day appointments only; however, we will keep the community informed as we make changes to our scheduling process. Information regarding how to access the clinic can be found on the Group Health Centre website.

We recognize that the past few months have been incredibly difficult for many of you. The uncertainty surrounding the availability of primary care has understandably caused concern and anxiety. Please know that the establishment of this clinic is a direct result of many months of hard work from our MPP Ross Romano, the Ministry of Health, the Algoma District Medical Group, GHC, and our local healthcare partners. Together, we have worked tirelessly to secure this solution and ensure that the impacted patients have access to a service that addresses their immediate care needs. Please know that our work to provide primary care for the people of Sault Ste. Marie is not over; there is much more to do to secure long-term access to primary care for our community.

This clinic is a good interim solution; however, it will not meet our community’s long-term primary care needs. We continue to focus on implementing more sustainable solutions, which include recruiting and retaining Physicians and Nurse Practitioners, to build a sustainable future for primary care in our community. As we recruit Primary Care Providers, clinic patients will be re-rostered to a provider.

Our long-term goal remains to ensure that everyone in our community has access to primary care. To achieve this, we will need MPP Ross Romano and the Ministry of Health’s continued support of our proposed solutions. 

As we implement this clinic, we ask for your patience and understanding. We are committed to increasing our capacity and improving our services over the coming months. Our patients’ health and well-being are our top priorities. We are here to support our community through this transition and provide access to care.

For more information about the clinic and its services, as well as Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our website.

Thank you for your continued trust and support.


Lil Silvano
President & CEO
Group Health Centre

Access Care Clinic

Click here to learn more about GHC's Access Care Clinic
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