I must admit that my jaw dropped when I heard the news that all four of Burns Lake’s doctors have resigned from their duties at the Lakes District Hospital as of April 30 this year.
Panic tends to set in when the community you live in is on the verge of loosing such a vital service.
Especially when the closest hospital to the community is a couple of hours away on some very dangerous winter roads.
It is very concerning for the community to say the least.
It is probably easy to blame the doctors for resigning, but I ask you to spare a thought for what they have been going through.
Excessive workloads have pushed the doctors to the limit.
Our doctors have been required to work tirelessly for months on end to keep up with the demands placed upon them by Northern Health for services at the Lakes District Hospital and by the public, who of course are not to blame, but do require medical treatment at the Burns Lake Medical Clinic.
Not only are we fighting to get a new hospital, as the one that we have is now obsolete, but we now seem to be fighting to keep doctors here in our community too.
The recent resignations should raise some very big, very bright red flags for Northern Health.
Especially seeing as Burns Lake is not the only ‘Northern Health’ community having problems with attracting and retaining medical professionals.
I certainly hope they are coming up with some good solutions so that one or more of the doctors may continue to work at the hospital in the future.
It is a shame that the local doctors felt they had to submit their resignations to get the attention of Northern Health.
Northern Health certainly will not be able to attract any physicians to the community if the ones that are already here are unhappy with the working conditions.
Clearly there are things that could have previously been done by Northern Health to relieve the pressure on our doctors.
They are being done now, so why not before?
Locum doctors have been sent in to help fill in the gaps in the past but this is only a band aid solution.
We need more full time permanent doctors that are willing to call Burns Lake home.
It is obvious that we have a limited amount of doctors in our community to keep up with not only the demands of a medical clinic, but also a hospital.
It should be no surprise to Northern Health that things could not go on this way for ever.
I think that Northern Health has quite a task ahead of them in terms of getting heath care in Burns Lake and in all Northern Health communities for that matter, back on track.
They have had a bumpy start to 2011 …. perhaps a visit to Burns Lake by Northern Health’s chief operating officer Cathy Ulrich is in order.
After all how can you fix a situation that you have not seen for yourself?
Comon’ Northern Health – we are not asking for that much … are we?