New primary care centre opens in Minnedosa


Hundreds turn out for ribbon cutting and open house


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

It’s a day that many people in and around Minnedosa have looked forward to for years, as the Dr. Ajai Khandelwal Primary Care Centre has finally officially opened. The 2.2 million dollar facility has been named after the local physician in honour of his 40 plus years of providing medical service to the community and its surrounding area. In a special ceremony, Dr. Khandelwal used a medical scalpel to cut the ribbon and officially launch his new namesake centre.

Along with well over 100 local residents, Dr. Khandelwal’s family was also on hand for the ribbon cutting and open house. In his speech to the crowd, Dr. Khandelwal acknowledged just how special this day truly was.

“I’m truly humbled to be surrounded by my family, friends, colleagues, members of the committee and community in joining together for the opening of this clinic. It is such a great honour and words cannot adequately express my sincere gratitude for receiving this great distinction. I am so very humbled and I can’t thank you enough,” stated Khandelwal. “It’s a dream come true.”

A combined effort 

Minnedosa Mayor Ray Orr noted that even though the actual physical construction on the facility started just a year ago, the process to get to this day has been a long time coming, as the process has been ongoing for over five years.

At a cost of $2.2 million, the project was built using a combination of personal and corporate donations, as well as municipal support from the Town of Minnedosa, R.M.’s of Minto, Oakview and Harrison Park. Prairie Mountain Health also offered guidance to the committee throughout the entire process. Orr said watching this collective group work together so well on this mutual goal, was great to see.

“This is an area project. While the building may be [located in Minnedosa], its benefits and services will benefit our entire region. As a municipal official, I’d like to acknowledge the support received from the [rural] municipalities early on in the process that allowed us to get this going,” stressed Orr. “It’s absolutely fabulous. It’s something I think that’s been needed and I’m exceptionally pleased to see this come to pass.”

A legacy for the entire region

Primary Care Clinic Committee secretary John Mendrikis said that with the major construction now finished, the Minnedosa Medical Group will now operate out of the building. Mendrikis added that the ongoing legacy of this building is something everyone across the region should be proud of because it was done with almost all donated dollars.

“It is great to finally reach this day. It’s something we’ve all looked forward to. In terms of donor numbers, we’re looking at over 600 individual donors and those amounts were anywhere from $10 to $25,000 per person. So, that’s the range, as far as what’s been donated and we’re grateful for every dollar,” Mendrikis stated. “Then there are the service clubs, from Minnedosa and the surrounding area, who have just been tremendous. Then there’s the corporations and other municipalities who contributed. All of that culminated with this building.”

The future

The 5,036 square foot facility has the means to house eight doctors. To begin, it will have six physicians and a medical practitioner.  A very important feature of the primary care centre will be its modern, up-to-date modern technology, which should entice new doctors to Minnedosa.

Ray Orr added that a facility like this will also provide local patients with state-of-the-art healthcare close to home.