In the last week, two more doctors in Strathmore have announced that they will be leaving the community, leaving many residents searching for a new doctor in just a few months.
“It's not just in Strathmore,” explained Mayor Pat Fule. “Communities across Alberta are challenged with doctors retiring or leaving the province. However, the general trend is that rural communities are losing doctors faster than they can be recruited, and the Town of Strathmore is trying to develop different strategies for action over the coming months to try and attract new physicians to our community.”
Fule explained that he thinks that Strathmore has a lot to offer, but understands that access to health care in Strathmore is something that people look for when moving to a new community.
“We think people are attracted to Strathmore's high quality of life from our recreation facilities and excellent schools to our vibrant business community and hospital. Our community offers families a complete lifestyle, but we know that health care is a priority for new residents. Offering eye care, dental services, diagnostics and other specialist health services is an important part of our quality of life. Family doctors are definitely central to family health care and we want every family in Strathmore to have access to a physician.”
Dr. Andrew Kelly and Dr. Orna McLaughlin will be leaving Pinnacle Medical Centre on June 24 after 6 years of serving the community. In a news release sent to patients, it states that they are leaving for family reasons.
Fule said that their presence will be missed in the community not only as medical professionals.
“We aren't just losing doctors; we're losing members of our community. But I do respect the notice that Dr. Kelly and Dr. McLaughlin have provided. They are working with their clinic to try to find replacements and to help ease the impact of their relocation, and I think that's an important sign of how much they care about their patients and our community.”
The mayor suggests visiting albertafindadoctor.ca if residents are in need of a physician. He said that the council is working hard to come up with ways to attract doctors to Strathmore, but more can be done on the provincial level.
“It's also important for people in town and in the county to make sure the province prioritizes rural health, especially as well and I'd like to encourage all residents who are concerned about recruiting doctors into the community here to write to the provincial Minister of Health or send an email. The provincial government has the resources and people that can develop programs that can help Strathmore and all rural communities address physician recruitment.”
The Minister of Health can be reached at 780 427-3665 or emailed at email@example.com.