Re: “Loss of clinic's doctors distressing to seniors,” letter, March 7.
Our mother has been a patient in the Health Point Clinic since 2008 when her doctor retired and she was unable to find a family physician. As she is now 96 and housebound, without the kind of medical support the clinic provides, Mom would have to use an ambulance any time she needed medical services, even minor issues.
If the Vancouver Island Health Authority supports the concept of elderly people staying in their homes, then a way should be found to keep the clinic operating with the doctors who are there. The innovative approach, integrated services and continuity of care provided by the staff are exactly what is needed to support seniors’ needs.
VIHA representatives say they will try to keep the clinic open by either using locums or hiring other doctors. How does VIHA propose to conjure up these doctors? There is already a well-reported physician shortage and doctors wishing to specialize in the care of geriatric patients are even more difficult to find.
Would not a much better approach be for VIHA to be more flexible, support a different medical model for the aged and find a solution with the clinic’s existing doctors who want to provide this type of care? It is obvious that it costs more to provide medical care for seniors but the clinic’s approach is saving hospital and emergency resources so they can be utilized appropriately.
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