By the end of June Souris will be down to just two physicians practicing in the community.
Souris-Glenwood Mayor Darryl Jackson says it is a concern and local officials are working to find a new doctor to work in Souris as soon as possible. “We have three doctors right now and we have one moving on at the end of June. So we’ll be down to two doctors and both those doctors want some holiday time this summer.”
“That will leave us in a pretty critical situation as far as our emergency department because it means they’re on call every other week and they won’t do that. So we will have closures no doubt about that.”
Jackson says the local doctors office working with Prairie Mountain Health is working to hire a nurse practitioner. “This person would help with hospital rounds, personal care home and office visits. However nurse practitioners can’t do on-call so that doesn't help the E-R situation.”
The mayor says in a perfect world Souris should have four doctors because the clinic is busy enough to handle four physicians.
“We need to go one step at a time and hire a nurse practitioner and try and find one doctor to begin with and if we could find a fourth doctor that would be great. There’s doctor shortages across our region and it won’t be any different in the other four health regions in the province so it’s just reality.”
Jackson isn’t thinking too far ahead and he’s more concerned about the immediate future.
“We formed a committee and are looking at fund raising plans. We’ve been talking with citizens, organizations and businesses that feel a viable doctors office and e-r service are a necessity and that letter just went out we’ve had some positive feed back and even some cheques with money going into the bank. So people are responding.”
As for trying to recruit a doctor to work in small town rural Manitoba Darryl Jackson says it is a job that differs from city positions.
“They work in the rural area doing their office work, required to do rounds at acute hospital and the personal care home side and they are expected to take their turn doing on-call. A new graduate landing a job in Winnipeg and Brandon they work their office and then they are gone for the day and there’s no on call for them because other doctors look after the hospitals and emergency departments.”
“Doctors working in rural Manitoba tell you it’s a rewarding practice but it’s a different way of life when compared to the city physicians” said Darryl Jackson.