The recent news that Burns Lake is to have no regular doctors working at their hospital at the end of April is troubling indeed, and certainly makes you appreciate the services we have here in Vanderhoof.
Fort St. James is also suffering the loss of one of their doctors, it was recently reported.
In many industry sectors of the north, retaining employees is evidently a big problem. A couple that spring to mind that I have written about in Vanderhoof, are the RCMP and court services, both of which provide vital services to residents.
Through local news networks I have heard of other communities going through difficult times with health care.
In Fort Nelson, it has recently been reported that a shortage in doctors means many expectant mothers have to travel huge distances in order to give birth. Some women travel as far as Saskatchewan to stay with family before giving birth.
Another area is the shortage in ultrasound technicians which is not only a provincial problem, not only a nation-wide problem, but apparently a global problem due to it being a highly specialized position. However, it has recently been announced, as I reported a few weeks ago, that a full-time ultrasound tech has been hired for St. John Hospital. She is expected to start in the spring.
We have also welcomed two new doctors in recent months, both of whom have cited the incredibly welcoming medical community as a reason for staying in Vanderhoof.
Hence Vanderhoof, in this instance, appears to be the anomaly to the pains in health care we are seeing in B.C, and for this we should be very thankful.