So far this year several doctors have left the city, including the two doctors that previously ran the North Peace Medical Clinic, which was subsequently shut down at the end of March. The FSJ Medical Clinic also lost Doctors Wiebe and Romey, and although interest has been expressed in each position, Northern Health has been unable so far to recruit any new physicians to replace them.
Changes have already been made to walk-in clinic hours due to a “significant” increase in patients after the North Peace clinic closed, and it’s nearly impossible for new residents to get a family doctor.
In June, Morris said the greatest concern from the physician shortage is the burden of the number of patients on the physicians the city does have, and the worry that the emergency room at the Fort St. John Hospital will fill up with non-emergency patients. That will particularly be a concern when the walk-in clinic is closed on Saturday.
Northern Health is currently recruiting four General Practitioners for Fort St. John.