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Fortuna officials considering open door clinic

FORTUNA- Medical services in Fortuna are in worse condition now than last year, a representative from the McLean Foundation told the Fortuna chamber of commerce Monday.

The foundation is currently working to recruit more doctors to redwood memorial hospital but said in an update to the chamber that the process has so far been unsuccessful.

The foundation began looking for new doctors after officials at Saint Joseph’s Hospital considered shutting down the OB-GYN clinic at Redwood Memorial Hospital last year. After a community meeting in December, the foundation was given a minimum of eighteen months to recruit more doctors.

In the update on Monday, McLean Foundation President Dennis Scott said many young doctors are not willing to come to Fortuna because the requirement to be on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The foundation announced that it is working to create an open door clinic as an alternative. They say under new federal health care laws the clinic would provide more reimbursement to doctors and would attract more primary care and OB-GYN specialists to the area.

“The hospital would remain,” Scott said. “The open door clinic would provide auxiliary services, see some patients. The hospital would still do surgeries because the open door will not do that. So it would be a compliment and the site we're looking at is right next to the hospital so it would be a perfect fit.”