RE: Recent Experience at the Cornwall Health Clinic and Request for Assistance

Letter to the Editor
RE: Recent Experience at the Cornwall Health Clinic and Request for Assistance

To whom it may concern,

My name is Phyllis Sarault and I am writing to several people in the hopes that I will get some assistance from one or more.

On October 26th, 2022, at 8:20am, I arrived at the only health clinic in Cornwall, located at 1331 Pitt Street in Cornwall.  The clinic opens at 9am and I wanted to get there early.  Good thing I did, as there were already eight people in line.  It was only +8 degrees outside and was too cold to be standing in a line for 45 minutes, especially someone who has COPD and severe asthma as I do.

While waiting in line two men started an argument.  One man asked the other to please put out his cigarette, and the man got upset and starting yelling and swearing.  It got bad for a while and made many of us very uncomfortable.  But, that isn’t why I’m writing this letter.  I am trying to paint a picture of what people deal with just to get into a clinic and how uncomfortable it is to stand for over an hour.

There should be a waiting room area indoors where people can sit and keep warm before the clinic opens.  Better yet, Cornwall absolutely needs another clinic.

Once the doors opened at 9am we all went inside…. There were 28 people in line by this time and the clinic was packed, nobody wearing masks.  It still took a while to get registered as there is only one lady working the reception area, trying to register patients and answer the phone that rings every 2-4 minutes.


This lovely lady Sharleen who works the reception desk, does the best she can and is always kind and professional, but she absolutely needs an assistant.  Perhaps someone to answer phone calls from 9-11am only, while she registers the patients.  For years now I have been going to this clinic and have seen how demanding this job is.  Whenever I have suggested someone be hired part time, it gets rejected.

By 9:35am I was registered as patient number nine and told to come back in a few hours or wait, as the doctor had not arrived yet.  I chose to leave and returned at 12pm.

At 12:30pm I was called into a small room with no windows.  Within 15 minutes I started to feel very anxious and had to open the door.  It took another 20 minutes before the doctor came into the room.

I was with the doctor for a total of seven minutes…. Yet the whole experience took from 8am until almost 2pm.  I also missed another important appointment due to this long wait at the clinic which caused me a lot of stress and upset.

I truly hope my concerns get addressed.  I know many of us in Cornwall feel the same way, but it took me writing this letter and getting it out to as many people as I can possibly think of, to hopefully get something done!

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Phyllis Sarault

*This letter has been sent to the following:
The City of Cornwall
Ontario Health Services Canada
Mayor Justin Towndale
Councillor Sarah Good
Seaway News
The Seeker
My personal Facebook Page

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