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More funding to boost Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic in Belleville

At the funding announcement, from left, are: Steve Ferguson (Mayor, PEC), Karen Clayton-Babb (Chief NP and Clinical Director, BNPLC), MPP Todd Smith, Jim Harrison (Mayor, QW), Bob Mullin (Warden, Hastings County), Neil Ellis (Mayor, Belleville).

Base funding for the Belleville Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (BNPLC) to expand access to primary care within the Quinte region was announced Friday by Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.

The Ministry of Health is providing the BNPLC up to $209,800 in pro-rated additional base funding for 2022-2023 and up to $839,200 in annualized base funding starting in 2023-2024. The funds are to support the hiring of 2.6 additional nurse practitioner positions, 1.5 administration positions, a registered nurse and a social worker.

“By increasing staffing levels at the Belleville Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, we can ensure about 2,000 more people will see primary care practitioners,” said Smith. “On behalf of our government, I’d like to congratulate and thank the clinic for putting a successful proposal forward.”

Karen Clayton-Babb, the Chief Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director at BNPLC, appreciates the new funding for the clinic located at 15 Victoria Ave., Belleville.

“Similar to other communities across Ontario, thousands of residents are unattached to primary care and the number continues to grow; therefore, this new investment for the expansion of BNPLC, is a step in the right direction to transform the lives of residents who have been without primary care for many years.”

The Belleville clinic, said Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson, is a critical component of the regional health-care system.

“We know that many people living in the northern part of Prince Edward County visit this clinic while they wait to get a family doctor,” said Ferguson. “Support of the Belleville Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic is welcome news for these residents who can get the care they need without having to go to the hospital and put an additional burden on emergency room resources.”

The funding is part of an $8.1-million investment across Ontario in new annualized base funding to enhance access to primary care in key regions of the province, supporting 18 Family Health Teams, two Community Health Centres, and two Nurse Practitioner-Led clinics.
During the review process, the ministry states it prioritized proposals from communities with high needs to maintain frontline services. More than 70 proposals valued collectively at over $50 million were considered in this program. Additional allocations are anticipated.

On behalf of the Hastings Prince Edward Ontario Health Team, Communications and Engagement Lead Barinder Gill said the announcement aligns with their efforts to deliver connected care within the region.

“This is great news, not only for the Belleville Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, but our communities as a whole. The nurse practitioner-led clinic has been and continues to be a valuable partner in OHT work and we look forward to continuing this partnership in support of better health and wellness throughout our communities,” said Gill.

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