Community working to address doctor shortage

Re: Family doctor shortage in Parksville Qualicum Beach: “New clinic said to be a pilot project” (Feb. 21, 2017)

Re: Family doctor shortage in Parksville Qualicum Beach: New clinic said to be a pilot project” (Feb. 21, 2017).

In September of 2015, Dr. Mark Morris made an impactful presentation to community leaders regarding the shortage of doctors in Oceanside. The leaders learned that Oceanside is in a “Perfect Storm” when it comes to doctors; at the time the community was short ten doctors with several looming retirements on the horizon. The community leaders reacted, quickly creating “The Perfect Storm Group” to work on solutions to recruit new doctors and to retain and support our existing physicians.

The real story here is about the amazing efforts of a group of concerned citizens mobilizing their community to get involved in the effort to ensure Oceanside residents have the health care they need in coming years. Achieving that goal will require all of us to work together, from individual citizens to every level of government, to address this complex global issue that most communities are struggling with.

The dedicated members of PSG include: MLA Stilwell’s office, the RDN Chair, both Parksville and Qualicum Beach mayors, the Chamber of Commerce, local Rotary Clubs, the Federation of Oceanside Residents’ Association and Dr. Mark Morris.

In addition, the B.C. Government and Doctors of B.C. are working collaboratively, and in partnership with Island Health and the Perfect Storm Group partners, to strengthen local and new doctors’ ability to shape the health system, in the belief that family doctors’ capacity to meet their patients’ needs is the cornerstone of a viable health care system. Through the Oceanside Division of Family Practice (jointly funded by the B.C. Government and Doctors of B.C.), the community representatives are provided opportunities and resources to examine potential solutions and support the objectives of the Perfect Storm Group.

We hope the residents of Oceanside will support this important initiative.

Tom Davies