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Mayor’s Report – March 18, 2015

Meet the Mayor

March 18, 2015


Anyone sick out there? Anyone in need of the compassionate services of a medical doctor? Anyone worried about the future? You’re quite normal. Though worrying about the future is not likely to change it much. I’ve been sick, too, for a couple of weeks – having had to sleep sitting in a chair to control my coughing. That’s the reason I’m writing this missive from the quiet and safety (for you) of my home while eschewing the nostrums so readily available for my symptoms.

I experience the same challenges common to the rest of you in obtaining the services of a physician as and when I think I need those services.

People have said to me over the last couple of weeks: Have you been to a doctor? You’d better see a doctor.

They were probably right but the pain of making that attempt is too much for me to bear when I’m sick enough to need a doctor. Normally, I make an appointment when I’m not sick so a three-or-four-week wait is not a problem. And I make the appointment for the first slot after lunch or the last one in the afternoon so I usually avoid a wait.

But when I really need a doctor – that’s a different story – our common need and frustration becomes mine. Not being willing to go to Emergency except for life-or-death emergencies (I did feel like dying), I stayed home and spared the rest of you my agony.

You might ask what Council is doing to remedy (no nostrums used here) the situation. It’s a good question you ask.

For one thing, Council has been pushing Northern Health pretty hard over the last eighteen or so months to keep the message front and centre: Northern Health has a responsibility to ensure that Chetwynd acquires a complement of long-term physicians adequate for our present needs and future growth. I believe Northern Health has interpreted correctly the messages we have been sending and is acting on those messages.

Example: Northern Health has assigned a Recruiter to focus exclusively on recruiting for Chetwynd. The Recruiter has visited Chetwynd several times recently, has interviewed our doctors, has interviewed Council, has studied the community, and is working to identify physicians with potential to fit the unique environment that is Chetwynd.

Northern Health is also working with the medical professionals who will locate in the new facility to ensure that there is a blending of expectations with reality.

But what is Council doing? (You are persistently holding our feet to the fire.) Imminently, Council again will have a booth at the spring gathering of family physicians in Penticton. Two of our members will be there to sell Chetwynd. In addition, through a direct contact by a Council member, Chetwynd is on the cusp of settling a young physician in Chetwynd – a physician who has visited Chetwynd several times, has met with Council, and is excited about the prospect of putting down roots in Chetwynd.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor