AHS reverses decision to close lab services at Morinville Clinic

A decision to close laboratory and diagnostic imaging services at Morinville Clinic due to low patient volumes, staffing challenges and lack of functioning equipment has been reversed.

The closure was announced by Alberta Health Services on Monday, with the final day of those services at the clinic planned for Monday, Jan. 31.

Residents were told that full lab and diagnostic imaging services would be accessible to them in neighbouring communities such as St. Albert.

AHS claimed the changes were being made as part of an ongoing effort to provide safe, high-quality lab services for Albertans while addressing staffing challenges in the province.

But on Wednesday, AHS announced it will be maintaining laboratory services at the clinic after all.

"This decision has been made after feedback from the community," their press release read. "There will be no disruption in service for local residents."

Morinville Mayor Simon Boersma said the lab is important to the town, and that he was disappointed by the lack of consultation by AHS in regards to the closure.

"The lab is very well used, we have over 400 people every week," said Morinville Mayor Simon Boersma. "I think that's important. We have a community right in town here of 10,500 but we also have surrounding communities that use our lab."

Boersma said even St. Albert residents would come to the Morinville Clinic for lab services.

An online petition to stop the lab's closure gathered more than 4,500 signatures.