Local family doctors start taking patients this week

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Northern Health has announced that they have recruited six doctors to Fort St. John, and they will begin taking patients this week.

“We have been successful in Fort St. John in the Primary Care Clinic in recruiting a number of new physicians,” said Northern Health’s Northeast Medical Director Becky Temple.

Most started the first part of September, one started in mid-September, and another in July.

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Temple said they are in the process of attaching patients with complex diagnoses and significant medical illnesses to these new doctors, but the doctors are open for anyone who needs one in the city.

When asked how far they are from achieving the goal of enough doctors to comfortably look after residents, she said it’s a ‘moving target’ due to populations and doctors coming and going, but they have acquired about 60% of the doctors they see fit for the community – assuming that none of the physicians currently here leave.

“Our ideal is that every person in the province has the ability to say, ‘I have a family doctor and my doctor is ‘____’,” she added.

Another physician has been signed, and will be starting next summer/fall, and they are continuing to actively recruit for Fort St. John, as well as Dawson Creek.

Temple is also hopeful that by this time next year, Chetwynd will be in a similar situation with more family doctors.

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