New doctor to ease the squeeze in North Okanagan community | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Partly Cloudy  21.6°C

Vernon News

New doctor to ease the squeeze in North Okanagan community

Image Credit: Shutterstock

ENDERBY - Enderby’s newest resident is an especially welcome addition to the community — a doctor.

Like many communities in B.C., Enderby has been dealing with a physician shortage for the past few years, and Mayor Greg McCune says they are thrilled with the Interior Health Authority’s announcement of a new doctor.

“We’re back up to where we need to be,” McCune says. The city now has three doctors and one nurse practitioner. 

The newest recruit came to Enderby through the Practice Ready Assessment-B.C. program, a partnership between the provincial government and Doctors of B.C. to introduce internationally-trained physicians to the province. As part of the program, doctors undergo an assessment process, spending three months with a B.C. physician who evaluates their skills. The doctors then practise for a minimum of three years in a designated rural community in need.

“We’re pretty happy with Interior Health,” McCune says.

As other communities struggle with shortages, McCune offers some advice.

“You have to build a relationship with Interior Health so they don’t look at you as a statistic on a piece of paper, but understand your needs,” McCune says.

He says one of the biggest challenges right now is rural doctors are assigned on three-year contracts — after that many choose to move to larger cities.

“Hopefully one or two (of the currently assigned) doctors will choose to stay,” he says.

But even if they don’t, he’s confident the city’s improved communication with Interior Health will prevent shortages.

“If we know we are going to be losing one, we should be well into getting a new one,” McCune says. “We’ve asked to never have that gap.”

He says the health authority has been much more responsive to the community’s needs and believes in the future doctors will be lined up to replace outgoing physicians.

The latest doctor has already been working in Enderby for a couple weeks, and McCune says locals are happy to have him.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2017

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile