Keeping High River doctors is critical issue
By: Wheel staff
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 10:28 am
It may be only one doctor, but there is legitimate concern it could be just the beginning and steps must be taken to convince foothills physicians not to move elsewhere.
Earlier this month a High River doctor sent a letter to her patients saying she was closing her clinic and relocating due to the devastating damage her home and business incurred in the flood.
No one can hold anything against someone who lost so much to the June flood. The doctor is most certainly overwhelmed, frustrated and torn by the thought of rebuilding and is simply looking for a fresh start elsewhere.
However, rumours are rampant in High River several other family physicians are contemplating a similar move.
A mass exodus of family physicians from High River would not only be devastating for that community, but for the region.
Few doctors practicing in the foothills, if any, are accepting new patients. Therefore, when a doctor relocates they leave thousands of patients without a physician.
In the wake of the flood High River doctors have made due by cramming into the Charles Clark Medical Centre and even seeing patients in a trailer in the parking lot.
A priority of the provincial Disaster Recovery Program should be the construction of a temporary medical clinic perhaps on the grounds of the park adjacent to High River Hospital.
A structure similar to the Sprung facility used for the business park would be ideal.
While High River physicians wait for their clinics to be rebuilt, a temporary medical clinic would provide them with a facility to see their patients and show them they have the support of the Province.
A community in recovery mode needs a morale booster, losing their doctors is not it.