Thursday, July 10, 2008

Northern Health seeks out solutions to health care concerns in Prince Rupert

The search may be over for a third physician at the Casey clinic in Prince Rupert, but with the shifting of Dr. Beverly-Ann Eysele to the downtown clinic, the future of the Greene Clinic on McBride Street suddenly seems even more uncertain now.

With her departure at the end of July, there will only be one available doctor remaining at the Greene Clinic. Dr. Greeff, who Northern Health suggest is not quite interested in running in the same fashion as it has for the last few years.

Aware that there is a need for greater support for the local community of Doctor’s, Northern Health is seeking out ways to alleviate the current crunch when it comes to seeking out a physician locally.

For the short term it would appear that Prince Rupert Regional Hospital will continue to shoulder the burden of personal health care requirements, as the Emergency department becomes the default office of necessity for those that can’t find room in the remaining practices in the city.

The Daily News had details on the latest struggles of health care in the city in Wednesday’s paper.

Loss of another doctor prompts concern for clinic
The Daily News
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Page five

The future of Prince Rupert's Greene Clinic is uncertain following the departure of another physician.

Dr. Beverly-Ann Eysele has announced that she will be leaving the Greene Clinic at the end of July and moving to the Casey Clinic. Her patients have the option of stopping into the Greene clinic to sign a request to have their charts transferred to her new clinic.

"The future of Greene Clinic is really uncertain at this point," said Andrew McLetchie, health service administrator for Northern Health.

Eyesele's departure leaves Dr. Greeff as the only remaining physician at Greene.

"I think in terms of the Greene Clinic, it's not something Dr. Greeff is interested in running as a complete clinic," said McLetchie. "At this point, Northern health is looking at how we can support all the physicians in the community to ensure that they can practice and we don't have gaps in their service delivery."

Northern Health has focused its energy on recruiting new physicians to the area.

"A lot of the action is things Northern Health can do around supporting recruitment," said McLetchie.

"We talked a bit about the need to promote Prince Rupert as a good place to live and a place that has benefits as a medical community. We're ensuring that we're working to recruit physicians to this community and to keep the ones that we have."

The shortage of family physicians is being felt by the community and has increased the burden on the hospital emergency room.

"Unfortunately, it's one of those things that we would like to have as many people as possible to have family physicians. There's just not the room in most of the practices in the community to accommodate any more people, so the emergency department accommodates them because that's the basic place where people can go to access service," said McLetchie.

"The likelihood of actually being able to get into a practice is very low. We're looking at ways of how we can make the emergency department better able to function with the flow of people coming through it."

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