Drumheller's new medical clinic is just over a month away from opening its doors to the public.
 
Dr. Rithesh Ram appeared before town council recently to fill them in on his plans for health care in the community.
 
"The 'Patient's Medical Home' model is really the pinnacle, the gold standard," he outlined. "It's only done in a few places because it's challenging to change the structure and get physicians that want to do that kind of care, but we're doing that, we're building it that way."
 
Right now, the only such clinic in Alberta is in Taber. Among the things Dr. Ram is promising for his new clinic in the Riverside Medical Building is same day access for anyone wanting to see a doctor sooner rather than later. However, in clinic wait times will remain variable.
 
"Giving that comprehensive 'patients first' care means if they end up with something unexpected (or) if they end up talking about an issue that they've never talked to anyone before, that's where that kind of scenario may still happen," he explained.
 
Dr. Ram made headlines earlier this year when he commissioned an online survey of peoples' opinions about local health care. Wait times, booking issues and choice of doctors were the three most mentioned concerns.
 
"The response that I've got from the community, even people that I may not have met (such as) strangers in the grocery store, have been nothing but overwhelmingly positive," he told 99.5 Drum FM. "It's incredible; it validates us to know that at least it looks like we're going to be providing something that is needed or appreciated."
 
Dr. Ram thinks the construction should be completed by mid-May and there could be a soft opening, but the official first day is not until June 1. They're holding a design the logo contest for kids 18 and younger. Submit entries to [email protected].
 
Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]
 
 

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