Enderby still on the hunt for physicians
A spike in doctors in B.C. doesn’t mean much for Enderby residents.
The Ministry of Health says a record 268 physicians were recruited in 2012, a 24 per cent increase over 2011.
“My first thought is we should see how that manifests itself in our community,” said Howie Cyr, Enderby’s mayor.
“It’s wonderful to hear that but the proof is in the pudding.”
Enderby and the surrounding rural area — about 7,200 people — currently has just one permanent physician after other doctors left for a variety of reasons.
The Interior Health Authority has stated there will be at least one new physician this summer.
Cyr says he has not heard any further details and there is growing anxiety among residents about health care.
“My fear is the situation will get worse before it gets better,” he said.
Of the 268 doctors recruited in B.C. last year, 102 went to underserved or rural communities, and 133 family doctors were matched, with 69 going to rural/remote communities. There were 135 new specialists.
According to the ministry, there were 75 new physicians for all of IHA in 2012.
“Recruiting additional physicians is one of the ways we are working to ensure patients have access to helth care services in their community, both family doctors and specialists,” said Margaret MacDiarmid, health minister.
Cyr is familiar with the statistics being provided by the ministry, but he insists there is still a problem in Enderby.
“I hope this (recruitment) will provide relief but who knows,” he said.