Health Care in the Early Days of an Instant Town

Mackenzie's first health centre, 1971

Mackenzie’s first health centre, 1971 at the corner of Crysdale Drive and Pioneer Ave.

Two and a half years after Mackenzie’s incorporation, Dr. Thomas Gant was recruited in November 1968 to serve as the town’s doctor. A primitive health centre was set up in a specially equipped trailer on the southwest corner of Crysdale Drive and Pioneer Street. The two bed clinic had an X-ray machine and a small lab. It was staffed by two nurses and a secretary, with Dr. Gant arriving in January 1970. He requested a hospital auxiliary be formed the next month.

The work load was very heavy and the lack of facilities was so frustrating that Dr. Gant resigned in June of the same year. He withdrew his resignation when the provincial government moved forward on building a hospital in Mackenzie.

The first hospital (the building is now the Ernie Bodin Community Centre)

The first hospital (the building is now the Ernie Bodin Community Centre) at 86 Centennial Drive.

On April 24 1971, the prefabricated 18-bed hospital opened. It was equipped with a laboratory, a case room, an X-ray machine, an operating room, and a morgue.

This first hospital closed in 1988, with staff and patients moving to a new 12-bed hospital. Today this hospital has home care services, paliative care, public health, and the doctors’ clinics all under one roof.

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