Tri Lake Health Centre in Killarney normally has five full time physicians and right now the community is down to a couple of doctors and others filling shifts on a part time basis.
Killarney Turtle Mountain Mayor Janice Smith says it’s a real concern for council and finding more doctors is a priority heading into the new year. “We have two doctors here and a third doctor that will be staying into a good part of the new year. we also have two locums we hope will stay until June. Then we have a locum the health region can throw in when needed.”
“As you know we have a compliment of five doctors that make things run smoothly at the hospital, so we are significantly down which isn’t good for anyone. That means our community and surrounding communities. This is a local, provincial and national problem.”
The municipality is working with Prairie Mountain Public Health to find solutions. The municipality is hoping to attract some international medical graduates to fill the empty positions.
“The lack of full-time doctors has hurt service delivery. The emergency department will be closed over Christmas, but I think we’re open during new year's which isn’t ideal. None of us wants to face a closed emergency room when a loved one or ourselves maybe in need,” said Janice Smith.
The municipality hopes to finalize a plan on how best to bolster the compliment of doctors at the Tri Lake Health Centre. “We’ll be looking at ways to recruit and nothing has been approved by council but it’s something we will look at early in 2023. We had to take action in 2016 and we could do something similar, but nothing has been approved.”