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October 28, 2017 4:31 am

Quesnel and Northern Health Have Plan to Handle Dr. Departure

Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 10:51 AM

Quesnel, B.C.- Facing the expected departure of four physicians this year, and possibly others in the next year,   Northern Health and the community of Quesnel are taking a proactive approach.

Plans are well underway to develop a primary care clinic “That should be open later this summer” says Debbie Strang,   Northern Health Quesnel Health Service Administrator “The exact plans are still in development and we are going to keep the community informed as we move forward.”

The new Primary Care Clinic will rely on a variety of members of the health care team which may include visiting and permanent physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, primary care nurses, and mental health and addiction clinicians. Support will also be provided by other medical professionals including dietitians, pharmacists and home support.

The new clinic is expected to open this summer.

In addition to the primary care clinic for unattached patients, the proactive plan also promises social integration and spousal support for new recruits and their families and engaging the broader community.

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson is counting on the community to be involved ““I would ask members of the community to join us by positively promoting Quesnel on social media and in the community to show the reasons we love to live and work here.”

Northern Health is connecting with physicians who have expressed interest in relocating to Quesnel. The process includes inviting the interested physician and their families to the community for a tour of the medical facilities and amenities.

While the clinic is still in development, “We have heard from physicians that they are interested in working with interdisciplinary teams, and the new primary care clinic will provide another option for physicians wanting to practice in Quesnel,” said Debbie Strang,. “While recruitment activities are underway, it will also provide unattached patients in Quesnel access to care.”

The work of physician recruitment is well underway with videos of Quesnel Physicians highlighting the work and lifestyle in the community. The videos are available on Northern Health’s physician recruitment website. The Northern Health recruitment team will also attend seven recruitment events nationally and internationally.

“We have a great team of physicians that are working in Quesnel, and we will continue to work hard for our patients in the community,” says Dr. Helene Smith, a physician practicing in Quesnel. “I really enjoy living and working in Quesnel. For me it is about showing physicians interested in Quesnel all of the great benefits the community has to offer.”


As long as the fox ( college of physicians ) are in charge of the hen house ( decides can or can’t practice medicine in bc ) there will always be a shortage of doctors . Same applies to the nurses . But unlike the teachers union ,Crissy doesn’t have the ovaries to stand up to the nurses or doctors . Why do these people get such special treatment ?

Because hey have incredibly complex skills sets that can, quite literally, make the difference between whether you live or die. These skills are in high demand virtually everywhere and so are highly portable. And are you seriously suggesting that we should get rid of the college of physicians? How do you expect there’d be appropriate oversight concerning who was qualified to practice medicine in BC (see point #1)?

Obviously it is becoming more and more difficult to get doctors to practice in rural areas.

The whole Northern Interior suffers from this shortage of doctors.

We need a different model, however we are always faced with the **small town syndrome** long winters, cold weather, etc; etc;. Not the most attractive climate to garner doctors.

Well then pal , why have all those South African doctors decided to settle in canada ? Why did they not go to California ? That’s a place very similar to S.A. Must have something to do with the college .

For someone with those skill sets one can’t over look and underestimate the opportunity cost for deciding to locate in a northern town or city that is stagnant in growth and has a declining population base. One has to consider the opportunity cost in lost real estate opportunities with their home as well as a declining customer base on a fee for service model.

Some will be motivated by a certain lifestyle or anyone that will take them and elevate their dignity, but those are the minority.

Quenel has a huge downsizing of its primary industry and subsequently an opportunity cost to physicians it would like to recruit and retain… IMO.

Obviously it is becoming more and more difficult to get doctors to practice in rural areas.

The whole Northern Interior suffers from this shortage of doctors.

We need a different model, however we are always faced with the **small town syndrome** long winters, cold weather, etc; etc;. Not the most attractive climate to garner doctors


I agree Palopu.

I think it’s mostly a case of doctors, like most people these days, choosing to live in our larger urban centres. Obviously there is something about the urban lifestyle that appeals to the majority of people in Canada and that can’t be discounted.

The other fact of the matter is that major urban centres provide doctors with more opportunities to work AND to develop their skills. There are linkages to universities, there are children’s hospitals, there are research opportunities, there are full service cancer treatment facilities, there are cardiac institutes, there are greater opportunities to practise their specialities, etc.

If we want to attract doctors to rural communities, we either have to find doctors who want that type of lifestyle OR we have to get creative. Maybe we agree to offer full ride scholarships to medical school if they agree to practise in a rural community for 10 years or something like that. It’s not s permanent fix, but I’m not sure if there will ever really be one given the way that our societal trends are going.

Those skill sets are more than readily avalible world wide . Kind of a silly argument defending an artificial shortage . Why not have the northern health hire a few dozen temporary foreign workers ( doctors ) . Put out an ad and you would be buryed in applicants . Especially if there was a route to landed immigrant status . Looks more like the its in the governments and the colleges interest to have a shortage . It’s certainly not in the populations best interest to maintain a shortage of anything .

Ataloss.. They come to Canada because we have a much easier immigration policy..any foreign doctor still has to meet the standards canada has to practise here. I think South Africa has better weather..so why leave in the first place… Guess it’s not just the weather :)

Ataloss, even if they let more docs in, what makes you think that they will choose to work in Quesnel or Fort St. James when they could also work in Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver or Victoria?

Average income for Physicians in Canada is $307,000.00 gross. After expenses, and taxes., probably somewhere around $150,000.00. Not a lot of money for the amount of time you go to school etc;

If we had a big increase in doctors at some point there would be an impact on doctors earnings. Ie; More doctors, means less patients per doctor, which means, less earnings.

Its highly unlikely that BC doctors would support any solution to this problem that would mean less income for them, and therein lies the problem.

PS Who is Dr. Departure?, and why does he have to be handled.

Nmg , the tfw plan precludes them working else where . The same way the burger flippers are supposed to be allocated geographicly . Great to see people actually looking proactively at the problem and MOST see it for what it is , artificially induced money squeeze with the patient as the victim . Which is what it really is .

P Val , I understand why they would what to leave S.A. So now or well before , they are part of the problem . Squeezing us is unsustainable . Sooner or latter someone is going to speak out and cut the BS . Which is also what this is .

This would all be solved if someone would just run to the video store and rent doc hollywood. its sooo simple.

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