Cold Lake City Council has voted in favor of starting the legislated process for creating a Municipally Controlled Corporation that will operate a medical clinic in the community.
The council made this choice during the Special Council Meeting on December 19. An MCC is a for-profit corporation that is controlled by a municipality or group of municipalities for the purpose of providing a regional municipal service or facility.
The MCC will be “Cold Lake Primary Care Medical Clinic Ltd.” and be created with the City of Cold Lake as its only shareholder run by a board appointed by City Council. The board looks to have two elected officials and three members at large. The profits of the corporation will be handled by the Board of Directors.
“Since 2006 our council has worked hard to get more doctors in our community,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We’ve spent a lot of time and money on physician recruitment and retention, but all of our effort and our taxpayer’s funding has been able to do is maintain the same number of physicians in our community. Since 2006, our population has grown by nearly 36 percent. We knew that we were underserved then, and the issue has been allowed to grow ever since.”
The MCC will have Medical Examination Rooms, Medical Examination Equipment, Medical Office Assistant Services, Reception and Appointment Services, and Patient Document Management.
The City of Cold Lake’s 2022 Census showed about 40 percent of residents do not have a family doctor with about 8% of residents needing to go outside the city for a family doctor.
“This is an unusual move, but it is one that our council felt we needed to make if we are to make meaningful progress when it comes to access to the healthcare system in our community,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “If established, the clinic will have a seat at the table when it comes to recruitment and, with the City as its only shareholder, it will maintain its focus on our residents’ best interests.”
A public hearing is scheduled to take place on February 28, 2023, at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers to let the residents express their opinions and told where to find additional resources.