Year in Review: New doctors in town

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Many people were no doubt delighted by the news this year of family doctors joining clinics in Fort St. John, and the arrival of family doctors accepting new patients.

Even with the implementation of Livecare clinics in Taylor and Fort St. John that helped doctors see more patients in regions like Northern B.C., where clinics and patients can be isolated form each other, there was some rather bad news regarding doctors in the first half of this year.

The Fort St. John Medical Clinic closed temporarily this summer because staff had to take time off and no doctors were available to provide relief.

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Numerous reports over the year indicated a few doctors  at a time were leaving to practice elsewhere, and the situation got more and more dreary. However, in November, Northern Health broke the news that six new doctors would start practicing in at the Fort St. John Medical clinic, bringing relief to many.

The doctors that have come to practice in Fort St. John haven’t gone unappreciated. A Nigerian couple emigrated to Canada, and eventually settled in Northern B.C. to work as doctors, and were astounded by how warm and welcoming the community was to them — and especially how ecstatic the patients were to have their own family doctors.

Heading into 2016, more good news about healthcare and family doctors is expected, as Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm and Health Minister Terry Lake are in talks about a new healthcare pilot project for the City.

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