Andrew Hansen, owner of Sidney’s Boondocks Bar and Grill, knows the value of Shoreline Medical firsthand.
When he arrived in the area two years ago from Lake Cowichan, he left behind his family doctor in Duncan. “And that is a long ways to go,” he said.
Looking for medical care, he signed up with the primary-care network and and now receives care through its clinic in Brentwood Bay.
Shoreline Medical, which also operates a clinic in Sidney, use a team-based model to delivery health care.
“It was because of (Shoreline Medical) that people here have doctors,” said Hansen, who anticipates the need for medical care will only grow along with Sidney’s population as hundreds of condominiums and rental homes come on stream downtown.
While the Brentwood and Sidney clinics closed in mid-March 2020, plans call for their gradual re-opening to in-person visits as public health restrictions ease.
More broadly, Greater Victoria has one of the older demographics among Canadian metropolitan areas and faces a wave of retirements in the medical field, one of the reasons behind the formation of the network.
A long-time supporter of various causes, Hansen used the occasion of nursing week in May to stage a barbecue fundraiser for the network that generated $3,000. “We ran out of everything that day,” he said.
People passing the fundraiser in the restaurant’s parking lot made spontaneous donations, reflecting community spirit and support for the network, Hansen said.
Shawna Walker, executive director of Shoreline Medical Society, the non-profit charitable organization behind the network, welcomed the donation. She said the money will help the society build its network of clinics and support the larger vision.
The money does not go toward clinic operations and doctors’ salaries, but supports doctor recruitment, the physical and administrative infrastructure necessary to deliver care, nurse training and other services such as a youth clinic, Walker said.
The society has attached more than 8,500 patients to more than 20 new doctors recruited since 2016, she added.
“The cost of doing that cannot be borne by the clinic. When you are bringing in a new doctor, training and bringing in 1,000 patients for that doctor, you can’t expect the previous doctor to pay that out of overhead.”
Shoreline Medical doctors account for more than two-thirds of all area doctors supporting the Saanich Peninsula Hospital.
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