Castlegar reaches fully-staffed level for physicians

Four new physicians means doctors in Castlegar are taking new patients.

After decades of physician shortages, Castlegar has finally achieved the goal of fully-staffed medical clinics.

There are currently 13 family physicians practicing in the city, four of whom were hired this past year.

“What this means for our community is there are now physicians taking new patients, and that if you require a family physician you should have one,” said Cheryl Gnyp, physician recruiter for Castlegar.

“The committee would just like to remind those people who currently don’t have a doctor to call one of the three clinics to make an appointment, as the best care is not visiting the ER when needed, but continuous care with a family physician.”

The Castlegar physician recruitment committee is comprised of Dr. Ellen Smart, Dr. Rainer Ankenbauer, Area I director Andy Davidoff, Area J director Rick Smith, Castlegar’s chief administrative officer Chris Barlow (formerly John Malcolm), mayor Bruno Tassone (formerly Lawrence Chernoff), and Gnyp.

The committee worked hard for many years to make this goal a reality.

“But we would be remiss if we failed mention the individuals who recognized the initial need in the community, and came out to brainstorm what could be done; from the business community and the Chamber of Commerce, to the former and current elected officials, they were all supporters from the beginning, and play a vital role in the success of this endeavour,” said a committee press release.

“We would also like to recognize the role the Divisions of Family Practice plays in supporting us, and last, but certainly not least, to the community members who are always there when a request is made for assistance. You are the real heroes who make this story the success it is.”

Community members have assisted in a wide range of ways including providing a home for a visiting doctor to stay in, spending time with a new family to make them feel welcome, taking someone rock climbing or kayaking so they are able to experience some of the area’s amazing places, and partners of physicians offering their homes and time in order to host numerous dinners as well as provide partner support and friendship.

“It really does take a village to recruit a doctor, and this is no single individual’s win, it is a win for the community of Castlegar, by the people who call it home,” said Gnyp.

Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow said the program will continue to ensure the city stays at a fully-staffed level.

“It has been a fantastic partnership between the city and Areas I and J and the physicians,” said Barlow. “We have come a long way in a couple of years, but we need to stay on top of it, so patients don’t have to go without doctors in the future.”

Just Posted

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

25 years of Nite Trek for West Kootenay Scouts, Guides

Annual adventure hike is hosted by the 107th Baden Powell Guild

West Kootenay RCMP charge man with impaired driving in school zone

Sgt. Chad Badry reports on impaired drivers and other high risk offences

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Extensive smoke, heat damage to Castlegar home after fire on Friday

One occupant suffered burns after fleeing house with pet

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read