Doctor shortage draws concerns

Anxiety levels are high over the shortage of doctors in Enderby

Anxiety levels are high over the shortage of doctors in Enderby.

There were previously five physicians in the community, but that has decreased to two over nine months and there will only be one in January.

“I am hearing some concern because the pool of doctors is shrinking,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.

Among the primary concern for residents — about 7,200 with the city and surrounding area  — is some people don’t have vehicles to drive to Vernon and Salmon Arm.

For some in the rural area, they are already some distance from Enderby and driving to Vernon could be challenging.

“Access to medical treatment is a No. 1 pillar of whether people move to a community. It’s rather demoralizing,” said Cyr.

The Interior Health Authority is in the midst of recruitment and there could possibly be two new doctors at the health clinic by summer.

It’s not expected they can arrive any sooner than that.

“IHA is going through its process and it’s not the most simple thing,” said Cyr.

“The one doctor we’re getting in the summer must go through accreditation and the other possible doctor has a practise elsewhere and has to wind that down.”

Between January and the summer, interim doctors will be used to provide services to residents.