It is with grave concern that I am writing to you in regard to events taking place at the Fraser Lake Medical Clinic.
The Northern Health Authority in all its wisdom and with no prior warning has chosen to not renew the contract of one of our doctors. The reason is obviously not incompetence as they have offered him work in Burns Lake, Mackenzie and Vanderhoof. He was apparently informed that “he was not a good fit.” A good fit with whom? Were any of his patients or other taxpayers asked their opinions? One has to wonder whose gluteus maximus he did not kiss.
As a long time resident permit me to reflect back. Thirty years ago we had two doctors, two nurses and a lab tech. A clinic in a small frame building behind the Super Valu. Did we have weekend and after hours emergency service? Yes. with the doctors alternating weekends. Was the clinic open nine to five weekdays? Yes, they had obviously heard of staggered lunch hours. Need an appointment? No problem always dealt with in a timely manner.
Fast forward a few years to our bright big new clinic. Lots of room, up to date lab, the latest in equipment. A lovely facility to be very proud of. Same excellent service from Drs. Kelly and Gow. Over the years our doctors left (understandable nothing stays the same).
Then the changes began, small at first but combined have changed the face of our medical service.
With the change of doctors suddenly we had no weekend or after hours service.
Four doctors instead of two (two full time and two half time) equal three full time positions. Then I arrived at the clinic on a Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. with an injured husband to discover that the place was locked up tight. Sat in the car with a husband in pain until 1p.m. when they re-opened. I guess everyone having lunch at noon is a priority over health care. This at a time when there are more people on the payroll then at the local Super Valu. Take a look when you are there. There are always more cars in the staff parking lot than the patient one. Need an appointment because you are not well – good luck! Getting one within the same week of your phoning is like winning the lottery.
The lab hours have been severely cut, now all tests have to be done in Prince George, meaning unnecessary delays in results.
Here we are today. Two of our doctors are leaving. We the taxpaying public have no problem with that. We knew well in advance and two doctors have been hired to replace them. Dr. Douglas, a very hard working physician, is only available part of the time. The rest of her time is taken up with the oncology unit in Vanderhoof. We are very lucky to have her and so is the oncology unit. Dr. Beever is leaving, not by choice as he and his family are well settled in the community.
Not because he is a bad doctor, not because his patients don’t like or trust him, but it seems it’s because he ruffled someone’s feathers. Could they be letting him go to make room for a local RN who just got her NP status? We already have one very capable and well liked NP in Celia. If this was their plan, then why did they not hire one new doctor and keep Dr. Beever. By doing that only two groups of patients would have to endure the change of doctor. Doing it this way three groups of patients will have to go endure it. But no, they have hired another husband/wife team who of course will want to take holidays together.
The powers that be made the decision without any consideration of what might be best for the community. I have asked questions and received “no comment” as a response. Sorry not good enough. We have to put the brakes on the deterioration of our services. I would like to see a meeting between concerned taxpayers and Northern Health.
For those of you reading this and wondering. Dr. Beever is not my personal physician; I am looking at the bigger picture and wondering what next.
If you are at all concerned with these events please voice your concerns in writing to:
St. John Hospital
R.R. 2 Hospital Road
Vanderhoof B.C. V0J 3A0