QUADRA ISLAND, B.C- Consequences could be expensive and dangerous if Quadra Island doesn’t find some solutions to their impending doctor shortage.
Jim Abram, a director for the Strathcona Regional District, implored his fellow board members to support a motion to write to the Minister of Health and the Chief Executive Officer of Island Health requesting assistance.
At the June 6th meeting, Abram presented a written request that explained some background on the issue.
“Unless some remedy is found, Quadra Island Medical Clinic, home to two doctors, a Nurse Practitioner (NP), and Laboratory and Mental Health outreach services, will close in November 2018 when Dr. Boegel, who currently owns and runs the clinic, retires,” the letter read.
“The other doctor leaves in June 2018. The second clinic on Quadra Island does not have extra space to accommodate these services.”
The loss could have undesirable implications for both Quadra and Campbell River.
“As approximately 1,000 Islanders will be unable to find a primary care provider on the Island and may well not find one in Campbell River, the impact of the clinic closure on the Campbell River Hospital will be significant and costly,” according to Abram.
He said it would mean more islanders would end up in Emergency, and in-patients would have to stay longer due to a lack of in home care on the island.
As well, Quadra residents face losing lab service hours, which happen two times a week, and mental health services that run out of the office.
Abram listed two possible solutions to the impending problem; that the clinic is funded and run by Island Health or a doctor is recruited by offering a salary.
The board voted unanimously to Abram’s request.