The Gabriola Medical Clinic announced this on May 2 that two long-term locum physicians will be joining the practitioners this May and August to provide interim care for patients of Dr. Ramak Shadmani and Dr. Maciej Mierzewski, who are leaving the Clinic this year.
The clinic issued a statement saying that with the departure of Dr. Shadmani at the end of April and Dr. Mierzewski at the end of June, many Gabriola residents will be joining the almost one million British Columbians that do not have a family doctor.
“By June 2022 Gabriola will only have two doctors and one Nurse Practitioner to manage the medical care of a community of 4500, many of whom are elderly or have complex medical or mental health conditions.
“BC’s family doctors play a critical role in early identification of disease, improved management of chronic illness, and helping people stay well. Evidence shows that a higher supply of family physicians is correlated with better health outcomes. Fewer family doctors are choosing to work in comprehensive, longitudinal family practice and more family doctors than ever before are considering leaving family practice. There are an increasing number of family doctors moving from primary care to other areas within health care. While these doctors are providing important services – such as urgent care, hospital work and speciality areas – their absence from community-based practices make it harder than ever to find family doctors to work in rural communities.
“The Gabriola physicians, the Health Care Foundation and the Gabriola Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice have begun recruiting for new physicians. A long-term campaign is under development by the Gabriola Health Care Foundation.
“As a first success we have secured two long term locums. Dr. Harry Nielsen and Dr. Aoife Green will be joining the practice in May and August 2022 and will stay until August 2023. Any patient orphaned by Dr. Mierzewski and Dr. Shadmani will be provided interim medical care by these two physicians. This is great news for our community, and we are grateful for the help.
“Until our new locums start work the clinic will do our best to continue to help those waiting for care, and we appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this new era of primary care crisis.”