NH, make it work

Local resident says doctors shouldn't be paid bonuses to come to the north

Editor:

I am writing to say I am happy that Jane Hetherington wrote (letter to Editor, Observer, Jan.17/14, p.A8) and would like to say I agree with her when she stated: ‘What a sad state of affairs when doctors need to be bribed in order to bring help in outlying areas’ … ‘like Quesnel’!

How in opposition to the many various groups in the City and CRD who try to show Quesnel as a desirable place to live, to retire, to be a tourist, etc.! Isn’t bribing doctors for a 3-year stint actually telling them they won’t possibly be able to put-up with Quesnel for any longer than that? Is extending a “bribe bonus” really inviting good doctors to come to improve the Northern Health area or is it inviting just any doctor to come “just for the money”?

In my way of thinking, $100,000 extra if you fill a spot for three years is the same as admitting: Quesnel is not a desirable place to live, but we’ll give you that added bonus to put down on a house in a place that is much more desirable than Quesnel!

Instead of bribing new doctors to Quesnel, why doesn’t Northern Health seriously look at taking the pressure off our present Quesnel doctors? (I understand three will be gone by spring.)

Would Northern Health consider hiring two or three doctors who would strictly work (and be on call) in G.R. Baker Hospital (Emergency Room, etc.) while our own doctors continued to visit their own hospitalized patients there?

The hospital doctors could also work as locums in private practices for both private doctors’ sick days and well deserved holiday-time each year! I believe this would free our own doctors of extra pressured hours and give the hospital doctors a chance to earn extra income as well.

And to top it all off, a qualified doctor who lives in Quesnel (now married to an already practicing Quesnel doctor) has looked into buying-out/taking-over the practice of a doctor who is leaving. The response from Northern Health was she can’t because her assessment isn’t due until 2015!

So what are our choices? Wait until next year to gain one doctor or chance losing two (married) doctors who just might not be patient enough to wait that  long!

I do not understand Northern Health’s “assessment team” for not speeding-up the assessing process when we have a doctor here in Quesnel who is wanting to work! It seems they would rather hire from out-of-town with their bribe conditions!

This whole letter is written “in my opinion(s)”, and I am asking more Quesnel people to put their thoughts into a letter to the editor of the Observer. I would also appreciate a letter of explanation “to the Editor” from Northern Health; I believe the residents of Quesnel and area should be informed about this process so that we don’t go along blindly while we keep losing our family doctors and cancer specialists from the excessive hours of work-time you apparently require of Quesnel doctors.

Your choice Northern Health (remembering you are supposed to be looking out for every one’s health in this area … even our doctors’ health). Please consider special doctors for the hospital work or expect  more practicing doctors to walk away – tired and worn out with I can’t take it any more … working 20-hour days here and there on top of my own practice is not working for me.

And who benefits from that?

Ruth McClounie

Quesnel

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