Traditional in the front, western in the back: new medical centre coming to Six Nations

OHSWEKEN – Located at the back of Ancestral Voices, the proposed Six Nations Medical Centre in the Ohsweken Plaza hopes to be up and running soon. A private opening ceremony took place last Monday evening, where owners were present to answer questions from guests.

The opinions surrounding the centre are focused mainly on the idea that the centre will offer methadone and suboxone, both of which are used in helping battle drug addiction. But, the private opening ceremony brought light to the other side of the centre.

Licensed Pharmacist and co-owner of the Medical Centre, Shaab Syed explained that this partnership is not monetarily based, and will offer traditional medicines as well as Western medicines in one spot.

“It took a long time to build this relationship, as well as the planning and creating the long-term future for this medical centre to service the needs of the people,” said Syed. “I don’t think Gail or I could have did this ourselves; Gail’s team and my team, have put in long hours and really pulled through, as you can see, it looks great,” he said as he motioned around the newly renovated clinic lobby. “So, hopefully it meets the standards of the community,” he said.

“We’re going to be open during regular business hours for our medical services, we do plan in the future to have after hour service, but it may be until nine or ten o’clock at the latest,” he said, as he explained a scenario of a child with pneumonia or a cut needing stitches. “Instead of driving to Caledonia or Brantford or to a hospital and wait to see a doctor for 30 seconds, we will be able to provide those services here,” he said.

“We will be providing six key disciplines here, methadone is only one of the six services,” he said, explaining that the methadone will only be available for about a half a day. “We’re going to be having urgent care, general care, counselling service, we’re going to be having the pharmacy service as well as the traditional services from Gail’s side,” he said. “It’s kind of like traditional in the front, and Western in the back.”

Whitlow then explained that it took “months and months and months” to get this far in regards to the centre.

“First of all, I’ve had years of clients with the main concern being pain management,” she said. “After listening to all sides, I wanted to come up with a solution that was going to be able to deal with all of these concerns,” she said.

The medical centre’s final proposal will be presented to Six Nations Band Council later this month. But, Whitlow explained that in regards to the speculations being made surrounding the methadone part of the centre, a lot of the speculations are made out of misinformation.

“You can’t practice anywhere without following the strict guidelines. Caledonia opened and they were going through the same controversy, but they’ve had no problems,” she said, explaining that problems only come when the guidelines aren’t followed.

“Any questions that the community has, we have a little (inquiries) box. So, if they want to ask, they can come put their question in the box and we will put the answers up on our website,” she said.


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