Physician recruitment again topped the agenda of the North Saskatchewan River Municipal Health Holdings Ltd. board when they met Dec. 15 at Riverside Health Complex in Turtleford.
Physicians in the pipeline have been delayed due to the new assessment program. They were unable to complete all requirements to arrive for the first intake in January. The next assessment intake is in May, which will put the earliest date of arrival for new physicians at the end of June or July. The physicians must complete the assessment program prior to starting practice in Northwest communities and this will leave Health Holdings one physician short for an extended period of time.
Patients are advised to phone well in advance for prescription refill or regular appointments. Wait times for appointments will be longer. Patience and understanding during the prolonged shortage will be appreciated.
Dr. Mbaogu has decided to stay for another year. The board expressed appreciation for his commitment. Dr. Loftus will be providing locum services Jan. 5 to 15. He will be primarily in Turtleford as a replacement for Dr. Gohil. Dr. Gohil left Dec. 31 to start her new practice in Toronto. She was wished all the best by the board and thanked for her 4.5 years of service to the community.
The administrator gave a report on a health event sponsored by the Community Health Advisory Network Nov. 27 in St. Walburg. It was an informative event with sessions on health issues and several information booths set up by Prairie North health professions and Health Holdings.
The next meeting will be Jan. 17 at Riverside Health Complex.