July has been a turbulent month for Chetwynd’s health care. Three doctors have left town. One new doctor has arrived and decided to make Chetwynd his home. The primary care portion of the new medical clinic is open. Two temporary nurse practitioners are at the clinic and one locum physician has come and left but is scheduled to return for a term in August.
Recruiting health care professionals to a community is becoming increasingly difficult all the time as supply and demand continue to be unbalanced. What factors might affect a doctor’s decision to choose one town over another? This is a question that every community must determine. Health care professionals have spent years in schools and hospitals to achieve their accreditation at enormous cost. The fear of “Burning Out” early in their careers is a frightening thought. How can we help?
The best way that we can help the health care system may be by helping ourselves. A proper balance of exercise and diet can do so much in the way of reducing blood pressure, heart disease and many other illnesses. Chetwynd’s walking trails and paths are well used and enjoyed. It is always nice to see how
happy individuals, couples and families are while using the trails. Physical activity is also a very productive way of dealing with negative stress as it releases endorphins and at the same time, burns calories. It is likely that regular walks, runs or bike rides and a sensible diet could make great strides in
reducing doctor workloads and as a benefit, create a more peaceful, positive and healthy community.
It has been said that the body does not get old from age, it only gets old from inactivity. Doing our best to stay in shape and controlling what we are able to control, will put less stress on our health care system and the professionals who work in it. When our bodies finally say enough is enough and break down on us from years of neglect, we turn to doctors to perform miracles. This all to often can be too little to late and yet, doctors and nurses are sometimes expected to quickly fix what has taken years to break down. Medical issues will arise that we have little to no control over. In a world where health professionals are scarce, we should take charge of those issues that we can control, leaving the professionals to tend to those illnesses we can’t control.
Physical fitness is in no way a substitute for doctors. Doctor recruitment and retention is absolutely at the top of Council’s priorities. Council will not cease recruiting efforts until there is a full complement of professionals that fits Chetwynd’s needs.
Health care professionals have many options these days. They will locate to where they want to live and work. How does Chetwynd stand apart from other communities? What can we do? Being a peaceful, positive and healthy community is a start.