OUR VIEW: Doctors are retiring too

Attracting new doctors to the Saanich Peninsula is certainly a daunting task facing the medical establishment in the wake of a shortage.

Attracting new, young doctors to the Saanich Peninsula is certainly a daunting task facing the local medical establishment in the wake of a shortage.

It must be considered that the local plight has been at least partially caused by the province’s focus on getting more doctors to practice in rural communities.

In recent years, there have been incentives on offer to new graduates from medical school to locate in more remote communities, as those parts of the province have for years been struggling with a chronic lack of physicians. When the province established its incentive program to help fill those voids, it was generally hailed as one solution to that problem.

An unforeseen consequence has apparently reared its head on the Peninsula. As doctors here look to retire, finding a replacement has proven to be excessively difficult. So much so that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and its Foundation are forced to find ways of attracting new doctors.

They are asking local municipalities to get on board and while that’s a good idea, it might only serve to act as increased lobbying pressure on the provincial government, the body responsible for health care in B.C.

The need for communities and their hospitals and clinics to find new doctors as existing professionals near retirement is a serious issue. On the Saanich Peninsula, an aging demographic means a potentially heavy workload on local physicians. Hence the idea of creating space for larger clinics of multiple doctors is a good idea as many hands make the load lighter.

The problem is, finding all of those hands.

Whether it’s local governments offering their own incentives for doctors to set up shop or the province eases up on the pressure for new doctors to head into the interior, there are steps that need to be taken before some of the area’s longtime physicians decide its time to hang up the stethoscope — with or without adequate replacement.

Just Posted

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

One arrested, weapons, drugs, and stolen property seized in Sooke bust

During the Feb. 6 raid, police found firearms, ammunition, drugs, and brass knuckles

Saanich intersections rank as Island’s three worst

Intersection of Admirals Road, McKenzie Avenue, and the Trans-Canada Highway had the most crashes

New tutorial ‘Whales in our Waters’ launched by BC Ferries

A new tutorial has been launched for mariners and the general public about whales in the Salish Sea

Head-on collision on Prospect Lake Road shuts down road

Prospect Lake Road reopened to traffic at approximately 4:15 a.m. Tuesday

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Most Read