The storm has arrived

During the past two years, local family physicians have vacated their practices for a variety of reasons.

The Oceanside Division of Family Practice reports that as many as six doctors have left their practices. With the recent departure of two family doctors in Qualicum Beach the number of residents without a primary care physician has grown to more than 6,000, and this figure is constantly changing.

In anticipation of this shortage of primary care physicians, a local committee of concerned citizens, called the Perfect Storm Group, has been meeting for the past four years to address the issue. It was never expected, however, that the major “storm” would hit this community so soon.

The Perfect Storm Group is seeking support from all levels of government and members of the community to build a primary health care facility with a team-based medical staff to be located in Qualicum Beach. This ambitious project is important, and there remains an immediate requirement to attract family doctors.

The Oceanside Division of Family Practice, the Perfect Storm Group, local and provincial governments and the private sector must prevent any further damage to our primary health care.

There is so much to be done and conditions now demand a redesigned strategy to recruit family doctors and a plan to develop a new community health centre.

Norm Watts

Qualicum Beach

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