Fort St. John – has been experiencing an ongoing issue for a few years now with regards to the shortage of doctors and a growing population. There are a number of doctors who left their practice and also the issue of many of the doctors retiring.
This has resulted in a major problem with many people left without a family doctor in the city.
However, there seems to be some hope for the city of Fort St. John as the Fort St. John Medical clinic will be welcoming a new doctor as a part of their team.
However this replacement is only temporary and the date of arrival of the new doctor is unknown, but will be arriving sometime this summer.
Dr. Carly Loomes will be starting this summer and taking over Dr. Pieter and Dr. Jana de Bruyn’s practice. As they will be leaving the practice by July 10th as they plan on retiring after practicing for 30 years.
Dr. Carly Loomes will be joining the clinic once she has finished her clinical commitments in the Northwest Territories and on the Vancouver Island.
Without the presence of Dr. Pieter and Dr. Jana de Bruyn, there will be 11, 000 patients without a family doctor. During the duration of the waiting period of Dr. Carly Looms the Fort St. John Medical clinic will be looking after these patients for now.
The issue of the shortage of doctors has been ongoing for the past 2 years and if this is still a problem for the Fort St. John Medical clinic then they will be shutting down their practice end of this year of 2015.
The city has recognized the main problems that are causing the lack of doctors. This includes the pay and the working environment.
However, this problem needs to be solved as soon as possible especially before the Site C project gets started as this will create a large increase with the population when this project starts. This will pose an even higher demand on having doctors available.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Northern Health seems to be optimistic that the community will come up with a quick solution towards this ongoing concern to attract physicians to work full time in the community.
There seems to be some truth towards this statement; as five new doctors are to arrive in July and September to practice as family doctors for those who do not have one.