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Huge lineup at clinic as Kingston residents seek family doctor

People in Kingston lined up for hours on Monday in hopes of attaining a family doctor.

CDK Family Medicine on Sutherland Drive has welcomed four new family doctors, and as such are able to expand their network of patients.

The clinic asked patients who don't have a family doctor to pre-register ahead of one of their CDK rostering days, initially planning to register prospective patients from 1 PM to 5 PM on Monday.

However staff stayed late to register those who were lined up, as those who went later in the afternoon said the line lasted as late as 8 PM.

In response CDK says they're limiting the number of patients rostered when they hold another opportunity on Wednesday.

"Due to an overwhelming response on the first CDK Rostering Day (Feb 26th) leading to wait-times of 5-6 hours, we have decided to limit the line-up to 100 patients on Feb 28th," CDK posted on their website.

"Accounting for family members and dependents of each patient who are also being rostered, we estimate 200-300 patients to be accepted on this day."

The clinic plans to hold other rostering days throughout the next 4-6 months so those who don't get enrolled this week will have further opportunities that have yet to be announced, but the sheer demand from the community showcases a shortage of family doctors being felt throughout the province and country.

Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen took the opportunity to highlight how federal investment can make adding doctors to communities more frequent, as long as there's cooperation from the Ontario government.

"We heard about the new doctors in town... However, we also heard about the massive rostering line-up, which underscores the need in our community," Gerretsen said.

"The Government of Canada and Ontario announced a bilateral agreement of more than $3.1 billion over the next three years... Now we need to ensure that Doug Ford and the Ontario government use every dollar to help patients across the province as quickly as possible."

Initially planning to hold another rostering day on February 28 from 10 AM - 5 PM, after the massive lines on Monday the clinic has restricted the period to 10-noon and a line of 100 patients.

The clinic hasn't yet stated whether the additional doctors would allow them to once again accept walk-in patients.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News