SCOTCH CREEK – A North Shuswap community is currently facing the possibility of a future with no doctor.
The two physicians who work in Scotch Creek are winding down their practice and retiring.
Over the summer the North Shuswap Health Centre will be staffed by locums with the retiring physicians filling in the gaps.
However, if no permanent replacements are found, there will be no MD in the area after the end of September.
The existing clinic is run by the North Shuswap Health Centre Society, a non-profit.
They have erected a roadside sign advertising available positions for doctors.
It is only one of the creative ways they have tried to find a new physician
“We have sent out 15-hundred letters to doctors in both Alberta and British Columbia just introducing our community,” says Jay Simpson, co-chair of the North Shuswap Health Centre Society.
At one conference they even ran a draw for a week’s stay at a lakefront cabin.
“We generated about 50 different contacts through that. Any contact is a good contact [because] we’ll talk to them about that and hopefully they’ll talk to their friends or other physicians about our opportunities,” says Simpson.
The community is even willing to offer a 15-thousand dollar signing bonus to a new MD.
“We’re doing our best. We never thought we’d have to market ourselves for doctors. Doctors are there, you just expect them to be around,” says Simpson.