Already closed on Sundays

Mall clinic limits holiday hours

On the heels of closing Sundays, Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic in the Chahko Mika Mall is also scaling back its holiday hours.

On the heels of closing Sundays, Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic in the Chahko Mika Mall is also scaling back its holiday hours.

The walk-in clinic will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as usual, as well as January 2 for the first time because no physician is available. It will also be the first time the clinic has been closed two days in a row in its 13 years.

The clinic will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Boxing Day, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 27, 28, 29, and 30.

It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from January 3 to 6, and then resume normal hours on January 7, which are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The clinic recently decided to close Sundays due to a staffing shortage, which its proprietor blames partly on Interior Health’s inflexible policies dealing with foreign medical practitioners.

The clinic, which until recently operated seven days a week including all but three holidays per year, lost one of its partners, Dr. Robert Taylor, who accepted a position with WorkSafeBC.

Although a foreign trained doctor apprenticing for her Canadian license was prepared to join them, Interior Health vetoed the move, saying such physicians must work in supervised settings, such as full-service family practices with hospital privileges.

However, according to a letter from the health authority’s senior medical director, the Kootenay Lake clinic doesn’t meet that criteria because they don’t admit patients to hospital, and only one staff member has hospital privileges, which are seldom used.

Dr. John Dale, who runs the clinic, has since contacted the BC Medical Association and a member of the Interior Health board “to question the policy of suggesting that a [foreign doctor] is better served during mentorship by being forced to go to an isolated community and do 24 to 48 hours of solo call with little or no backup when they could be doing a learning training period in our clinic.”

Dale has been unable to find another permanent replacement.

In the meantime, he says they are getting “quite a bit of help” from local doctors, “which is great, but we have no regular for Sundays.”

Dale also argues that by providing weekend service, his clinic was easing the burden on the emergency room. By his reckoning, about one-third of the 75 patients typically seen on Saturdays and Sundays would otherwise end up in emergency. He estimates that over the years, his clinic has saved the health care system millions of dollars.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leafs beat Nitehawks for 8th straight win

The win gives Nelson a provisional division lead

Castlegar march ensures missing, murdered aboriginal women not forgotten

About 60 people took part in the Valentine’s day memorial

Jenner scored 2 in debut as Leafs beat Thunder Cats

Nelson is on a seven-game winning streak

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Federal Indigenous services minister meets First Nation at rail blockade

Blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Belleville, Ont., is in its 10th day

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

Most Read