March 17, 2017 8:26 pm
Updated: March 17, 2017 9:03 pm

New Lake Country clinic taps into doctor demand: ‘there is a shortage here’


Over 1,500 people have applied to be patients at Lake Country’s new medical clinic.

Turtle Bay Medical Clinic is not scheduled to open for over two weeks. The strong patient demand is being seen as more evidence of the shortage of family doctors accepting new patients in the region.

“We have heard from the community, loud and clear, that there is a shortage here and that people want doctors here, instead of having to drive elsewhere,” clinic general manager Kiffer Walker said.

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The local pharmacist behind the project knew there was demand for a new clinic in the community. Lake Country’s population has grown by more than 10 per cent since 2011.

READ MORE: Doctor shortage hits Kelowna walk-in clinics hard

“You see people and their health is deteriorating because they don’t have a doctor. They are not able to get prescription renewals on their medication,” pharmacist and clinic owner Garth McKay said.

However, they weren’t prepared for how quickly the responses came in.

“We posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that we were taking new patients. We initially started with my phone number on that post and within about half an hour realized that that was unmanageable,” Walker said.

READ MORE: WATCH: Lake Country doctor shortage crisis

The general manager estimates between 1,500 and 2,000 people have already expressed interest in becoming patients.

The bigger challenge for the business many be finding enough doctors to staff the clinic full time.

Four doctors are currently on the clinic’s roster.

The clinic is looking to eventually have a total of between eight and 10 doctors filling six full-time positions.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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