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Eastern Health to operate smaller clinic in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

James McLeod/The Telegram<br />Eastern Health CEO David Diamond announced an array of budget cuts Monday, including the closure of the Masonic Park long term care home, and changes to routine breast cancer screening.
Eastern Health CEO David Diamond — File photo

Eastern Health says it will open a new smaller clinic space within The Cove Clinic at 1604 Portugal Cove Rd. to provide some health-care services for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s.

In July, Eastern Health announced that the clinic services provided at the Portugal Cove Community Health Clinic at 1720 Portugal Cove Rd. would relocate to the Major’s Path Clinic at 35 Major’s Path, St. John’s. At that time, Eastern Health communicated that staff would relocate to the existing Major’s Path Clinic, and that there would be no reduction of services.

“We have been working with the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s and other stakeholders for the past several weeks to develop a plan which will enable nursing services to be maintained within the town for the convenience of residents,” Eastern Health president and CEO David Diamond said in a news release. “There is no reduction in services; however, this new plan will allow Eastern Health to save funds by acting in a responsible manner with public monies, resulting in savings of approximately $80,000 annually.”

Eastern Health said its smaller clinic space will continuing to provide wound care, injections and urinary/vascular catheter care, among others.

Public health nursing services such as child health clinics and preschool health checks will be offered at the Major’s Path Clinic as per the previous plan. This clinic is a distance of 11 km from the previous clinic, and also offers other health-care services, Eastern Health noted. Clients who may not be able to travel to Major’s Path are advised to inform their nurse so that alternate arrangements can be made.

In-home services, such as post-natal visits; visits to clients receiving home care nursing services or palliative care and long-term care assessments will continue to be offered within the town.

Other services that will continue to be offered in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s include the breastfeeding support group from the St. Philip’s Anglican Church at 20 Coady’s Rd., the school immunizations and other school programs at Beachy Cove Elementary and Brookside Intermediate and flu clinics during flu season.

Mental health and addictions counselling services for the past three years have been offered to residents of the area from the clinic in Torbay. Counselling services could have been offered from the clinic in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, if requested. However, during that time, the number of requests from residents of Portugal Cove–St. Philip’s decreased, Eastern Health said. For the past year, they have been served by a full interdisciplinary team at Major’s Path including psychology, addictions counselling, occupational therapy and psychiatry consultation as opposed to one mental health counsellor.

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