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.

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

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read