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LETTER: Lack of access to primary care in Parksville Qualicum Beach is ‘scandalous’

‘High time’ government attracts more GPs and nurse practitioners to Mid-Island area

Re: ‘Solution needed for health-care dilemma’ (Letters, PQB News, Sept. 29)

To my mind, the issue of lack of access to primary care in the PQB area is a scandal.

My husband and I relocated here in June of 2019 with the naive assumption that we would be able to find a health care provider within a reasonable distance from our home in Qualicum Beach. We were very quickly disabused of this notion! After considerable effort, we eventually found a physician further up the island who was accepting new patients.

Unfortunately he closed down his clinic in Cumberland very abruptly at the end of July.

We now find ourselves on a waiting list with thousands of others who are hoping to find a GP or a nurse practitioner who will take us on.

My husband and I are in our sixties and count ourselves fortunate that we are currently in reasonably good health. My heart goes out to those who are very elderly and frail, those who have been diagnosed with chronic health issues, and those who may develop serious conditions as a result of lack of access to primary care.

Both my husband and I worked (and paid taxes) our entire adult lives and never thought for a minute that we would have such difficulty accessing health care as we grew older.

As Canadians, we were always so proud of our health care system and smugly contrasted it with what passes for health care in some parts of the western world.

I think it’s high time that the provincial government figure out how to attract more GPs and nurse practitioners to the Mid-Island, remove existing barriers that might prevent well-qualified, foreign-trained doctors from practising in areas of the province that are underserved, and/or revamp the existing delivery model in order to encourage medical graduates to pursue careers in family medicine.

Frances Boudreau

Qualicum Beach

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