Pixabay

Pixabay

Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Longstanding fears of a looming health care shortage in Port McNeill may have finally been addressed.

Island Health announced in a media release this morning that it has secured two temporary physicians and leased space within the community to ensure residents of the region have continued access to primary care services.

The move appears to address ongoing concerns tied to the departure of one of the community’s two current physicians this month and the continued viability of the private clinic operated by the other.

“Beginning in May, Dr. Nicole Bennett-Boutilier will provide temporary primary care services, as well as coverage at Port McNeill Hospital. In June, Dr. John Fitzgerald will begin providing temporary primary care services,” the release states.

Island Health also noted it has leased space at 1584 Broughton Blvd in Port McNeill to use as an immediate clinic location to support primary care appointments while a long-term model is developed.

“It is important to note this location is not a walk-in clinic and will be for booked appointments only. The two physicians will also support the Port McNeill Medical Collaborative, which will remain open and continue to provide primary care appointments at this time.”

The Collaborative’s Dr. Prean Armogam will continue to work at the Port McNeill Medical Clinic. Island Health thanked him for his continued leadership and commitment to providing health care services to the community.

“Island Health remains committed to the vision of establishing a health authority owned and operated primary care clinic in Port McNeill,” stated the release. “A recent Request for Proposals for suitable clinic space has closed and the process is underway. The support of the two additional physicians and use of the leased space are considered an interim solution while the new primary care model is established and recruitment of permanent physician coverage continues.”

Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom was pleased to hear the announcement from Island Health. She said that together with the ‘Namgis First Nation (from nearby Cormorant Island), the town will continue to work with Island Health to determine a better model of health care for our region.

“While we still have work to do for our long term future, we are pleased at the relatively swift progress being made to remedy the current physician crisis. We’d like to thank residents for their patience and Dr. Armogam for doing what he is able to meet daily health care needs.”

RELATED: Solution pending to Port McNeill health care uncertainty?

RELATED: Departing doctor cuts Port McNeill staffing in half, raises questions about clinic’s future

RELATED: Port McNeill Medical Clinic says it will stay open after closing services

More info about health care services in Port McNeill

Island Health is working with multiple physician partners and groups to ensure ongoing physician coverage at Port McNeill Hospital. In partnership with the remaining local physician, physicians from neighbouring communities and physician locums, physician coverage has been scheduled for the hospital.

Beginning May 19, people who want to see either Dr. Bennett-Boutilier or Dr. Fitzgerald can phone 1-866-956-2007 to schedule appointments.

First Nations communities and individuals can also access the First Nations Health Authority’s First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. Indigenous people and their family members can access the program to address their health and wellness needs. Please call 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HealthcareIsland Health

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Camper was found on Hollywood Crescent Wednesday night

North Saanich is in the process of revising its tree protection bylaw. The proposed changes have drawn much public interest and criticism, as council heard this week during their special meeting on the matter. (Courtesy District of North Saanich)
Revisions to tree protection bylaw in North Saanich face cutting criticism

Councillors to take up issue again in August after staff summarize massive public feedback

A lift on marine border restrictions by next summer would bring an economic gain to Greater Victoria through the cruise industry. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for opening of marine borders by summer 2022

Council to ask feds to end restrictions in time to allow planning for next cruise ship season

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Great Canadian Gaming Corp. workers in B.C. launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

A float plane crashed into the waters near Painters Lodge in Campbell River on Thursday morning. Photo by Alistair Taylor / Campbell River Mirror
Float plane crashes into water near Campbell River

Pilot uninjured, plane hit sandbar while landing

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Most Read