Clinic 554 – In your Constituency
Dr. Adrian Edgar and his clinic manager Valerie Edelman hosted David Coon at Clinic 554 on Brunswick Street to show him around the facility. This family practice opened on January 16, 2015 and is in the process of accepting 600 patients from the provincial patient registry. Dr. Edgar has made it his goal to cater specifically to the needs of underserved populations including lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirited, trans-gender, and queer individuals. The clinic also offers a wide variety of reproductive health services including contraceptive counselling, pregnancy management, and abortions.
Dr. Edgar has a vision to grow Clinic 554 into a complete care centre for women. Part of that vision involves bringing a midwife onto the team. Before coming to Fredericton, Dr. Edgar worked in a collaborative community health centre in Vancouver and it is his goal to implement a similar model here.
Having received patients since January, Dr. Edgar and his staff are concerned about the barriers to abortion services that still exist in the province. In November, the Premier decided to remove the restriction requiring two doctors to certify an abortion as medically necessary. However, the province refuses to make abortions a billable service through Medicare. Patients who are unable to travel to the new family planning clinic in Moncton, or who require the privacy and timeliness of the Fredericton-based clinic are forced to pay between $700 and $800. Dr. Edgar is an advocate for changes to Medicare which will allow for truly publicly-funded abortions. He argues that the current structure creates a two-tiered system that disadvantages local women, especially those in a position of economic vulnerability.
Dr. Edgar wants to create a safe space to provide patient-centred and patient-driven care to the people of Fredericton and the surrounding region.
For more on the clinic, go to Clinic554.ca