The uncertainty created by the unrest between doctors and government hit home Monday when South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds announced that a planned expansion of local health care facilities has ended before it even got started.
In a media release, Mayor Byvelds announced that the Township of South Dundas will not pursue the purchase of the former St Cecilia’s School in Iroquois.
The Township had been in discussions with St. Mary’s/St. Cecilia’s Parish to purchase the school to provide a new location for the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic in Iroquois.
The Township had been approached by the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to partner with them to provide modern, accessible space on a long-term lease basis, similar to the arrangement with the Clinic in Morrisburg.
The Township had completed its due diligence on the school property and had submitted a conditional offer for the consideration of the Parish.
However, recently the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic advised that due to an uncertain future with respect to Provincial support of rural medicine they cannot expand further at present.
Acknowledging the position of the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic, Mayor Byvelds said, “I fully realize that with the Province imposing cutbacks that it does impact your business. Rest assured that the Township of South Dundas is willing to work with the SLMC to provide for the health care needs of our residents.”
South Dundas chief administrative officer Stephen McDonald told The Leader that the SLMC and Township are still moving ahead with the agreement they have in place for the Morrisburg clinic that will see it move into a renovated space in the former Morrisburg Collegiate building.
A detailed report on that project is expected at this week’s council meeting.