Clinic closure stirs doubt on doctors willing to work in Cowichan
The impending closure of a medical walk-in clinic in Cowichan is raising questions on whether the valley has a difficult time recruiting and retaining qualified physicians.
Two doctors from the Silverfern Walk-in Clinic on Jubilee St. are reportedly leaving the community and the clinic is having a tough time replacing them, according to Dr. Len Roy, Cowichan District Hospital’s chief of medical staff.
Dr. Roy also practices family medicine at his own clinic in Cowichan and said recruiting doctors to the valley can be a challenge.
“It can sometimes be difficult to obtain new physicians, but certainly not impossible,” he said. “Our own clinic has obtained the services of two new physicians over the past year or so… with the assistance of VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority).”
The Beverly St. walk-in clinic in Duncan is also reportedly hiring two new doctors and Dr. Roy said that should pick up some of the patient demand leftover when Silverfern closes.
Dr. Stephen Faulkner at Silverfern confirmed the clinic is closing at the end of July and that he believes there is a problem recruiting doctors to the valley, specifically, getting doctors to work in a 'walk-in clinic' atmosphere.
Dr. Roy said the Silverfern closure will likely mean more traffic for the hospital’s emergency room.
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