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Improving access to care: self-referrals welcome at Miramichi well-women clinics

The team at Horizon's Miramichi Health Centre works together on providing health care and a range of health services that focus on health and wellness.

This includes preventive-health services for women, known as well-women clinics.

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These well-women clinics take place each Thursday and are for anything related to the wellness of a woman - from sexual health concerns to menopause, and anything in between.

Registered Nurse Sylvie Comeau, who also serves as the health centre's coordinator, said clients can access this service, regardless of whether they have a family doctor or nurse practitioner. 

"We don't want a referral standing in the way of a woman having access to the health care she needs," Sylvie said. "And some of our clients have a male provider and are more comfortable with a woman performing their exams."

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Sylvie said any woman from the Miramichi area can call to book for their routine Pap smear test, a breast exam, sexually-transmitted infection screening, contraception and counselling regarding menopause.

"When they call, we can get them in usually within a couple of weeks," Sylvie said. "If it's for something more urgent like sexually-transmitted infection screening, an appointment can be scheduled more quickly."

Geneviève Brideau, one of two nurse practitioners at the health centre, said in an average month, they see between 80 and 100 women in the well-women clinic, and all women are offered a manual breast exam during the visit.

"If there are concerns, or they are due for a mammogram, as a nurse practitioner, I can and will send a requisition to the mammogram department," Geneviève said.

Geneviève said she can facilitate cervical cancer screening, which all women should begin having done by the age of 21.

"Women with adequate screening history may discontinue routine screening at age 69," Geneviève said. "But this is decided after proper consultation with their health care provider."

If you're a woman in the Miramichi Area who needs to access the well-women clinic, call 506-627-7511 to book an appointment.

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