The South Island Division of Family Practice says Esquimalt could help bring in more family doctors if more clinic space options were opened. Photo courtesy CBC.

The South Island Division of Family Practice says Esquimalt could help bring in more family doctors if more clinic space options were opened. Photo courtesy CBC.

The shortage of family doctors in Esquimalt is still impacting residents and now a physician’s group has sent a letter to Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins asking for short term and long-term clinic spaces to become available as new primary care doctors are recruited for the area.

The South Island Division of Family Practice called the need for new primary care service in Esquimalt “immediate.” One of two Esquimalt medical clinics was forced to close after they were unable to find doctors to take over the practice. One doctor has relocated to Victoria.

The group said at least 4,000 additional patients have been added to the approximately 32,000 are looking for a family doctor in the area. The number is expected to grow to about 55,000 within three years.

“Esquimalt is not alone in the need to expand primary care service for its residents. All South Island communities have a need to attract new family physicians to our region. For the Township of Esquimalt, the lack of suitable clinic space to house these providers, within an attractive team-based model of care environment, is an impediment to recruitment,” the South Island Division of Family Practice wrote in the letter.

The group cited the new urgent primary care centre as a good model of leasehold improvements and partnership with a municipality that will soon be recruiting 12 fulltime full-service family doctors.

The South Island Division of Family Practice wrote that they are recruiting new primary care doctors and Esquimalt would benefit if short term (within six months) and medium term (one to two years) clinic space options became available.

CHEK News