The second temporary emergency doctor arrives in the Gold Pan City today.
As part of mitigating the doctor shortage and as part of the Primary Care Committee partnerships, two ER doctors are helping ease the burden at GR Baker.
“As doctors leave, we managed to get two doctors in to do temporary coverage to avoid those gaps,” Mayor Bob Simpson said.
The first doctor arrived earlier in July. Both are on a four-month contracts.
To “sweeten the deal” in convincing the two doctors to join the team, the city, Northern Health and Regency Chrysler formed a partnership. The city agreed to cover the four months rent in a furnished home at a total cost of $4,800, with NH covering the lease arrangements and Regency coming forward with two insured vehicles.
“It’s us showing support to all the doctors who are staying,” Simpson said.
“It’s helping relieve the emergency coverage burden.”
In March NH confirmed four doctors were planning on leaving in 2015, with another three potentially in 2016.
All seven of these positions are family practitioners.
“There are consequences,” vice-president of medicine for Northern Health Dr. Ronald Chapman said to the Observer in March.
“One is to existing patients who are attached to their current physicians.”
Chapman said patients will either have to find a new family physician or wait for a spot to open up.
Secondly, he said, is added pressure on GR Baker Memorial Hospital where most family physicians also practice.
Hence the temporary relief set up by the Primary Care Committee.
The long-term recruitment plan looks to recruit physicians to the Gold Pan City above the 23 the community normally runs with.
“We’re establishing supports and a Primary Care Clinic,” Simpson said, adding the clinic is primarily for those who do not want a private practice.