The 10-member staff and patients were surprised Monday morning when they found out the Coarsegold Medical Clinic will close on Dec. 29.
A letter from Dr. A.P. Sidhu posted at the clinic and being prepared to mail to patients stated “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the closure of Coarsegold and Prather Medical Clincs. It has been a great pleasure providing for your health care needs over the years, and it is not easy for me to give it up. You will have to seek medical care from another primary care physician as soon as possible.... The Fresno/Madera Medical Society can help you begin your search - (559) 224-4424.”
First opened by Dr. A.P. Sidhu on July 1, 2014, the doctor was looking forward to being a part of the community with a goal of serving patients of all ages for their healthcare and preventative needs. A practicing doctor in Fresno since 1998, he said he was inspired to open the Coarsegold clinic when he learned many residents often have to travel out of the Mountain Area to receive medical care.
When contacted Monday, Sidhu said the closing of the clinic was “an economic decision,” and explained although he has not personally seen a patient at the clinic in about a year, he had providers at the clinic five days a week.
He said his initial plan was to be at the clinic frequently, but was unable to do that recently due to many responsibilities he has in Fresno.
Coarsegold resident Melanie Bainbridge was quick to express how she felt about the closing.
“I was so shocked, saddened, but mostly mad, when I heard the news of the closure of Coarsegold Medical Clinic Monday morning,” Bainbridge said. “I was told by a staff member that they received their “closure” letters Monday morning when they got to work. The sudden closure provides patients with a very short number of days to find a new provider, and what happens to our medical records? Two clinic closures a year apart will force more retired folks to have to move away or put way too many of us onto an already heavily trafficked Highway 41. We sure didn’t move all the way up here 20 years ago to be in this situation. This community deserves better medical facilities than we have now. We used to have an 24 hour urgent care center - we used to have a decent medical clinic.”
In his letter, Sidhu stated that all medications refills will be completed up to Jan. 12, and that confidential medical records can be transferred to another physician or released to the patient. Details can be received by calling the clinic at (559) 641-2245.
Diane Boland, who with husband Richard Boland own the building, helped bring Sidhu’s practice to Coarsegold, and at the time of opening said the office would help fill a much-needed niche.
“There’s been a desperate need for medical services in Coarsegold for quite a long time,” Boland said. “These are facilities the community has wanted and needed, and Dr. Sidhu has filled that niche for us.”
Coarsegold Physical Thearpy, which has an office in the building will remain in its location.
Asha Pritpal Sidhu came to the United States in 1994 from India. He’s the owner of the Fresno Long Term Care Medical group, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the elderly in 2007 from the Fresno mayor at the time, Alan Autry.
From 1998 to 2005, Sidhu saw patients in private practice, then closed his practice to dedicate 100% of his time and energy to the care of seniors. At one time he was providing medical care to seniors in up to 20 Central Valley nursing homes and assisted living centers.
It was just before the opening of the Coarsegold Medical Clinic that Sidhu decided to venture into private practice again. At the time of opening the Coarsegold clinic in what was formerly the Coarsegold Hardware building (35324 Highway 41), Sidhu felt that given the number of retirees in the area and his passion for caring for the elderly, the clinic offered a perfect fit for him.
About a year ago, after it was announced three doctors were leaving Oakhurst, Sidhu announced the clinic would expand from three to five exam rooms, add additional services such as opthalmology (vision), and would be ready to take on additional patients.
For information about leasing the space in the building, contact Richard and Diane Boland, (510) 610-6213.