City demands answers

Council wants clarification on recruitment of physicians in B.C.

There are concerns that Enderby is being  bypassed while other communities get doctors.

City council decided Monday to write the Ministry of Health and demand clarification on statistics that show B.C. recruited a record 268 physicians in 2012.

“We want to know where the physicians are being placed and how this process will benefit Enderby,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.

Cyr says there is growing anxiety among residents that the area — with about 7,200 people — currently has just one permanent doctor and they have to travel to Vernon or Salmon Arm for care.

The Interior Health Authority has stated there will be at least one new physician this summer.

Another issue city council wants addressed is an apparent change in the funding model for physicians.

Doctors at the Enderby Health Centre operate under contract with the Interior Health Authority. However, council has heard payment may shift to fee-for-service and doctors may have to rent office space.

“We are very troubled about that. We see it as a deterrent for getting physicians here,” said Cyr.

Council will ask IHA to provide information on the payment model.

Enderby’s push for physicians is also getting support from communities like Armstrong and Clearwater.

“The District of Clearwater has also been struggling to attract and retain physicians and has worked tirelessly towards finding a solution,” said Mayor John Harwood in a letter to Enderby.

“I would like to let you know that you have the full support of the District of Clearwater in your endeavours towards finding physicians for your community.”