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PrimeCARE Health abruptly shuts down in Carstairs

Town's mayor expresses dismay over Carstairs Medical Clinic closure
MVT Carstairs Medical Clinic
Carstairs Medical Clinic was one of three PrimeCARE Health Medical Clinic locations to close yesterday.

CARSTAIRS - Residents from Carstairs were surprised to find a note on the door of Carstairs Medical Clinic yesterday stating the clinic was permanently closed.

It is one of three PrimeCARE Health Medical Clinic locations in Alberta that closed effective Jan. 13

Calls to the clinic's owner, Dr. Femi Adekeye, were not immediately returned.

Lance Colby, Carstairs' mayor, said losing the PrimeCARE clinic in Carstairs is tough especially given the abrupt circumstances.

"I didn't know that PrimeCARE was pulling right out," said Colby. "I know they lost two doctors that went to Crossfield earlier and another doctor was going to have a baby. I guess it was closed for some of those reasons. I just heard yesterday they were shutting down for good. It's really too bad."

PrimeCARE had three locations in Alberta -- Calgary, Grande Prairie and Carstairs. A notice posted yesterday on PrimeCARE's website stated the offices were closed effective immediately.

"If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please proceed to the nearest emergency room," it stated. "For general medical advice, you can access a service of AHS (Alberta Health Services) called Health Link Alberta at 811. For a list of clinics that offer walk-in medical care and a list of physicians accepting new patients, visit your Primary Care Network directory."

Carstairs Medical Clinic opened in the fall of 2016.

The loss of the clinic and its lone doctor, Dr. Olive Usher, leaves the community with one remaining doctor's clinic.

Snowy Owl Medical Clinic has three physicians. Dr. Ovo Onohwakpo is accepting new patients, Dr. Michael From is accepting new pediatric referrals and Dr. Charles Wang is accepting new skin referrals.

Colby said he is hoping that Dr. From at Snowy Owl will be able to bring in another doctor to compensate for the loss of PrimeCARE's Carstairs clinic.

"A lot of the people who were with the doctors who left for Crossfield went with them," he said. "It'd be nice to have a couple more doctors but now that that clinic is gone we'll see what Dr. From does. I'm not sure what capacity he's at but I'm sure he could use at least one more to help and maybe recruit more.