Victoria doctor forced into early retirement as specialist moves into rental space

General practitioner says he can’t afford rising rents, even amidst doctor shortage

Amidst a province-wide doctor shortage, one Victoria doctor might be forced into early retirement.

Paul Brigel has had his practice at 2020 Richmond Road for three years, but with his lease about to expire and a specialist moving in, the 74-year-old doctor says he has no where to go.

RELATED: Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

Now, he says he is being forced to leave, and his landlord has informed him that a cardiologist will be taking over the unit, paying far more than the $1,350 per month Brigel has paid for the space.

And Brigel said his rental searches have failed to reveal anything affordable. He takes about eight to 12 patients a day, and makes approximately $30 per patient – too little, he says, to afford the overhead of rising rental prices.

“Rents have gone up but our salaries have not gone up,” he said, referring to general practitioners in B.C.

Brigel also brings in money by working as a clinical assistant professor for the University of British Columbia, teaching students at his Victoria practice.

And while he’s considering taking on house calls after he leaves the rental space, he says he will likely retire early – this October.

RELATED: B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

Roslin Stuart, a patient of Brigel, suffers from Lupus and is concerned about what will come next for her.

“It’s horrendous, because if you have a serious illness, you need a doctor who knows your history and your background,” she said. “If you go into a walk-in clinic you’re meeting a new doctor every time.”

“Hopefully something will be done to help these doctors with their huge overheads,” she added. “We as the public need new doctors.”

When asked about the eviction, Brigel’s landlord said he can’t comment on the rates he charges tenants but said he wanted to get a specialist into the unit.

RELATED: Calling all doctors: Victoria physicians on board with recruitment train

RELATED: B.C. medical students call for more residency spots to curb doctor shortage

Dr. Paul Brigel, a Victoria-based general practitioner, is going into early retirement after being evicted from his unit on Richmond Street. Brigel said he can’t afford the rising rents in the city. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read