PRINCE ALBERT -- People with addictions will have better access to physicians and services at Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine Clinics (RAAM) opening in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina.

“A lot of the addiction treatment can be dealt with medication and you need a prescription for that. And a physician in a clinic can help with that,” said Dr. Francois Rossouw a physician with Access Place.

The walk-in clinics offer patients immediate access to a care team of physicians, nurses, and addiction counsellors. Clients can get treatment for health problems, and access services for mental health, counselling and information about community programs.

“A multi-disciplinary team will accept you with whatever problem you come with and connect you to other services,” said Dr. Francois Rossouw.

“We hope this will give us an edge to deal with problems early on.”

The Prince Albert RAAM clinic was the first to open to the public on Nov. 1 and is run out of Access Place. Five additional staff were hired at Access Place for the RAAM clinic.

“We hope that we can prevent Hepatitis C and HIV numbers that is alarmingly on the increase,” Rossouw said.

RAAM Clinics established in other parts of Canada have reduced emergency room visits, shorten wait times and improve outcomes for patients.

The province is spending $1.6 million on the RAAM clinics.

“It’s another first in Prince Albert, and first in the province,” Prince Albert Carlton MLA Joe Hargrave said.

“We got some great co-operation from the physicians and the counsellors to make this happen.”