Doctors hopeful restriction on new patients short term

Barriere docs have been attempting to recruit a third physician for some time

To the editor;

Doctor Marais has recently announced the closure of her medical practice to new patients.  This decision was taken after much deliberation, and after her workload had become increasingly unmanageable and her wait times to see patients exceedingly long.  This means that neither physician in Barriere is taking new patients at this time.

We understand this creates difficulties for new people in Barriere and we are working very hard to find a solution.  We have been attempting to recruit a third physician for some time now and continue our efforts to do so.  We have been in contact with the Division of Family Practice in Kamloops, the Interior Health Authority, as well as Health Match, which is a provincially funded organization to assist with the recruitment of physicians to under-serviced areas.  In addition, there is a Provincial Program that recruits international medical students.  We have applied to this program to be considered as a priority community.  I have been informed that the earliest a successful candidate would be available would be in the summer of 2017.

Dr. Marais and I are very concerned about the current situation and understand that this causes hardship for new people without a physician, but we have to be sure that the medical services in Barriere are sustainable over the long term.  We are both committed to providing safe quality care to our patients.  We are also committed to providing full coverage to the Emergency Department as well as our own practice.  Our goal is to provide long term and sustainable medical care to the residents of Barriere. We are hopeful that the current restriction on new patients is a short term situation.

Dr. T. P. Clare

Barriere Medical Clinic