It’s good news for Burns Lake.
According to Dr. Susan MacDonald, Northern Interior medical director for the Northern Health Authority, two physicians have accepted letters of offer to work at the Lakes District Hospital as well as the Burns Lake Medical Clinic.
“This news is important for Burns Lake’s physicians and for the community and we are really excited,” MacDonald said, adding that the recruitment of the doctors was a joint effort between Northern Health and Burns Lake’s physicians.
While Dr. Allan Hill, chief of staff remains to be the only full time permanent doctor in Burns Lake, MacDonald said the two new physicians have accepted permanent positions in Burns Lake.
Dr. Loren Caira has signed on to work in Burns Lake for a minimum of three weeks of every month. He is a University of British Columbia graduate and has completed additional emergency room training in the U.S. as well as worked in a number locations in Canada.
MacDonald said he had been working as a locum in the local area before deciding to stay on.
Dr. Chris Annandale will be working on a two week on two week off rotation in conjunction with Dr. Michael Graetz. He was trained in South Africa and has also worked in Canada.
She said that although Dr. Annandale is working on a rotational basis, he is a permanent physician for Burns Lake.
“Both physicians are well trained and experienced the emergency room and both are in the process of establishing homes in Burns Lake.” She said she could not confirm if the physicians are looking to purchase homes in the area or looking at renting homes.
Dr. Hill is currently in the U.K attending to family concerns and won’t return to Burns Lake until the end of February 2012 however
Dr. MacDonald said despite his absence the Burns Lake Medical Clinic and the emergency room at the Lakes District Hospital will be fully covered for the months January and February.
MacDonald said that alongside the two new physicians there is also several locums as well as Dr. Gregory Norman working in the local area.
“Dr. Norman is offering his services on an intermittent basis, which I am sure many of his patients appreciate.”
She also confirmed that a South African physician who intends to live and work in Burns Lake is still in the process of immigration.
As reported in the Lakes District News edition of Aug. 17, 2011, Dr. Membo Kibonge has the appropriate qualifications and has been approved by Northern Health.
He also has experience in primary and emergency care and has completed the written medical exams required for emergency care.
“Dr. Kibonge already has colleagues that he has worked with in South Africa working in Northern B.C. which will also be very helpful for him.” MacDonald said it is not yet known when Dr. Kibonge will arrive in Burns Lake but is hopeful that the immigration process will be expedient.
Northern Health is still actively recruiting physicians for Burns Lake as six physicians are required.
“Ongoing recruitment is extremely important,” she added