When Dr. Wagdy Rayes retired in June after an amazing 40 years run as a family physician in Apsley (which has a population of about 2,300), the township in Peterborough County was left without a doctor.
Rayes had approximately 1,140 patients rostered to his practice, and many of those were left without a GP when he closed his practice at the Apsley Medical Centre on Burleigh Street.
The commitment was made to find the town a new GP as soon as possible—and that commitment remains, according to the Peterborough Family Healthy Team (PHFT).
A North Kawartha Hub clinic with a nurse practioner opened behind Dr. Rayes' old office for those who couldn't join an established family practice. When a new doctor is found, PFHT says this Nurse Practitioner hub will be integrated into this practice to provide all patients of Apsley with a wholesome practice.
But the Nurse Practitioner Hub can only provide care to patients that are enrolled with them as they are currently at full capacity, meaning PFHT is pursuing a temporary solution to support these folks who can't use the hub. They are exploring a telemedicine approach which still needs to be planned out before being implemented.
“It is Peterborough Family Health Team’s responsibility to ensure all residents of the City & Country of Peterborough have access to adequate primary healthcare services,” says Lori Richey, Executive Director for the PFHT. “We continue to search for a permanent family doctor to take over the primary care for patients, but in the meantime we need a solution. People cannot go without access to care.”
A telemedicine service would provide a virtual family doctor to patients in the community. This temporary clinic would also enroll patients and smoothly transition them over to a new family doctor once recruited and that practice is up and running.
In the meantime, those living in Apsley who require care can access it through the following means:
-> The Lakefield VON Nurse Practitioner Clinic: Open Wednesdays and Thursdays, and located at 150 Strickland Street in Lakefield. (Residents are encouraged to book an appointment by calling 705.651.4866.)
-> Peterborough Regional Health Centre: If you urgently require health care services, you are advised to go to your local hospital at 1 Hospital Drive in Peterborough.