Sunrise Health Region is in the process of recruiting a physician for Preeceville, through the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program, to join Dr. Taofik Adedeji and Dawn Kennedy, a nurse practitioner.
The earliest placement following successful completion of the fall session would be January. SIPPA is a Saskatchewan program that assesses International Medical Graduates on their medical education and clinical ability before they start a medical practice in the province.
“Attempts were made by Sunrise Health Region to encourage Dr. Kabongo to continue his practice in the health centre building or, if he preferred, as a separate medical practice in the community,” said Roberta Wiwcharuk, vice-president of Integrated Health Services. “Unfortunately, Dr. Kabongo decided, for personal reasons, to move to Regina in June. The health region is grateful for his years of service to Preeceville and we wish him well.”
The health region is in consultation with the physician, nurse practitioner and Preeceville Town Council to determine how to provide more reliable emergency care. For several years, the after-hours emergency department coverage has been inconsistent in Preeceville. Suffi cient physician supply to support after-hours coverage is an ongoing problem faced by small communities.
A schedule of alternating weeks of emergency coverage has been agreed upon to ease the expectation for Dr. Adedeji to be on-call for emergency coverage. Preeceville and District Health Centre will be on emergency bypass every other week, starting July 6. This means that there will be no emergency services available at the Preeceville and District Health Centre when on emergency bypass. The schedule will be communicated on a monthly basis and can be found at www.sunrisehealthregion.sk.ca under Alerts and Notices /Service Interruptions.
“Although this is not ideal, it will help ease the burden of what is currently an unreasonable on-call expectation for any physician working in a small community,” said Wiwcharuk. This change will only affect the emergency department at the Preeceville and District Health Centre. The physician and nurse practitioner will continue to see patients for daytime appointments, from Mondays to Fridays, even on the weeks when the emergency department is on bypass.
“In order to retain physicians in Preeceville, we need to try a different approach to help improve their work-life balance,” adds Wiwcharuk.
No matter what community a person lives in, the best advice in an emergency is to call 9-1-1. The emergency dispatchers at the 9-1-1 call centre know the closest available emergency departments and will ensure quick ambulance response.
For non-emergencies call Healthline, by dialing 811. The registered nurses at Healthline will provide advice and will direct callers to an emergency department, if needed.
There may be longer waits for an appointment with Dr. Adedeji and Kennedy until a second physician is available in the community. Therefore, ensure timely renewal of prescriptions by being aware of medication end dates. Talk to your local pharmacist to determine if he or she can renew your prescription for you. When an appointment with the physician or nurse practitioner is needed, call several weeks prior to the end of the prescription to ensure that you are seen before the prescription runs out.
Primary health care is the day-to-day care needed to protect, maintain or improve our health. For most people it is both the fi rst point of contact with the health care system and the most frequently used. Sunrise Health Region continues to work with the health care providers in Preeceville to strengthen and improve primary health care in the community.
The primary health care clinic in the Preeceville and District Health Centre was recently adjusted to accommodate offices and clinic rooms for two physicians and the nurse practitioner.
The electronic medical record (EMR) system is the most recent innovation at the primary health clinic. The EMR will link Preeceville to other primary health care clinics in the region that are on the system. Preeceville is one of the first communities to have this access. The EMR will ensure that the physicians and nurse practitioner in Preeceville have more complete and timely access to information needed for the care of their patients.