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VIHA helps patch Lake doctor crisis with a nurse
A nurse practitioner being hired for Lake Cowichan will nicely complement a planned private walk-in clinic — plus prospective multidisciplinary care — in the town currently with no medical services, a lake councillor explains.
Bob Day, of Choose Cowichan Lake, applauded pushes by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and Duncan doctors opening Lakeside Medical Clinic, to give folks even more medical care than under the recently closed Brookside clinic.
“This is huge news,” he told the News Leader Pictorial Tuesday about the RN. “It’s a great chance for us to get a fresh start. As of today, we have nothing.”
Lake residents can share comments about health needs, and learn about the nurse practitioner at VIHA’s Sept. 5 meeting set for 9 to 11 a.m. in Cowichan Lake Seniors’ Centre, 55 Coronation St.
Cowichan Lake Working Group’s goal is building a long-term model for an integrated multidisciplinary primary and community-care team, VIHA brass’ release states.
Those multidisciplinary services, under VIHA budgets, would see specialists address chronic mental-health, diabetes, heart and other maladies, he explained.
In the short run, Day was glad the RN will start working weekdays around November, offering front-line care and prescribing non-narcotic medicines.
“It’s a bit of a gap filler,” he said.
Care gaps fall between the fledgling Lakeside clinic launching services Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, plus weekends, by next month.
Day was delighted about Lakeside’s opening by three doctors operating a clinic in North Cowichan’s Beverly Corners complex.
He was also amped about VIHA answering medical-care demands by lake folks after Brookside was shut about a week ago.
“The public should trust what VIHA’s doing; they’re bending over backward to make something work for Lake Cowichan.”
But working in the lake wasn’t high on physicians’ lists, he explained, due to a lack of colleagues there with whom to compare notes and ideas.
“Doctors like to be around other professionals, and not work in isolation,” said Day.
The best honey to lure future doctors would be an ER facility in the lake, he noted.
“Provide a space, and doctors will come.”