A new doctor has hung up their shingle in Enderby.
Dr. Michael Abayomi is expected to begin seeing patients Monday at the Enderby Community Health Centre.
“We’re excited,” said Brian Schreiner, an Enderby councillor who was part of the recruitment process with the Interior Health Authority.
“We have a good match and a doctor that may be conducive to staying in the community beyond the three years of the contract.”
Most recently, there has been only physician in Enderby under contract with IHA as well as a private practice and a First Nations doctor.
Like many Interior towns, Enderby has struggled to recruit physicians.
“We’ve been dealing with this for the last five or six years,” said Schreiner.
“We’re really appreciative of IHA allowing us to be part of the process.”
Abayomi was identified through the provincial government’s Practice Ready Assessment B.C. program.
“The PRABC program is funded by the Ministry of Health and the Doctors of B.C., who are working together to strengthen health care in rural communities like Enderby,” said Dr. Curtis Bell, IHA’s executive medical director.
“This program is focused on bringing stable, high quality care to residents in rural B.C., and addressing the physician retention and recruitment challenges facing some of our smaller communities.”
Through the program, a qualified international physician undergoes assessment in B.C. Once the candidate passes the assessment period, they commit to practicing in a designated rural community, such as Enderby, for a minimum of three years.
It’s anticipated that another doctor will be in Enderby in February and Schreiner says that’s important as the community tries to retain or attract residents and businesses.
“It really helps our community. If people want to move here, they know we have practitioners and don’t have to go to Vernon or Salmon Arm to see a doctor,” he said.
IHA has also hired a new nurse practitioner for the community health centre to replace the previous nurse practitioner who is leaving to take on a new role.