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  • Writer's pictureLisa Johnson

Alberta town declares health crisis, must pay to keep clinic open as doctor roster dwindles

Hinton mulls paying $500,000 to keep remaining clinic open

Lisa Johnson · CBC News · Posted: Jul 04, 2024 8:56 AM EDT | Last Updated: 9 hours ago


An exam room is seen at a health clinic in Calgary, Friday, July 14, 2023. In Hinton, Alta., an industrial town in the shadow of the Rockies, residents are giving up on finding a doctor to write prescription and are instead driving three hours to Edmonton to try their luck at a walk-in clinic. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

In Hinton, Alta., an industrial town in the shadows of the Rockies, residents left without a doctor to write prescriptions face a three-hour drive to Edmonton to try their luck at a walk-in clinic.


Hinton is down to eight family physicians, half of what's needed for the town of 10,000. And of those remaining, some are working part-time or making retirement plans.


The town council has formally declared it a health crisis and is looking at dipping into its own pockets to find $500,000 to keep the physicians from closing up shop.


'Absolutely ridiculous'


Mayor Nicholas Nissen said he's disappointed the town may be on the hook for something that's not a municipal responsibility.


"It's absolutely ridiculous that municipal taxpayers are paying three times now — in our community — for health care that half of them don't even have access to," Nissen said in an interview.




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