A doctor holds their hands over a paper cut-out of a family.

Photo Credit: Intrepid Health

Uneven Healthcare Success on NorthIsle

More doctors for Port McNeill and more shutdowns for Cormorant

Who is getting new doctors?

It’s tough times for healthcare on VanIsle. But we have some good news to mix in with your regularly scheduled closures this week!

Cormorant Island Health Centre has to extend their overnight ER closures till September 15th. The reason? They still don’t have enough staff.

The temporary closures are in effect from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Anyone having a medical emergency overnight is supposed to call 911. Island Health is apologizing for the difficulties. We’re still wondering if apologies are enough.

But how about a little hope? Over in Port McNeill, a new Doctor Duo will be making rounds in the Primary Care Clinic!

Dr. Evan Rogers and Dr. Noah O’Connell are friends who studied together in Ireland and just finished their residencies in Comox. They’ve teamed up to help boost patient care in Port McNeill, and will be making a huge difference for residents.

“Bringing two new family physicians to the Port McNeill Primary Care Clinic will expand access to regular, high-quality healthcare for people in the region in a meaningful way,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Both doctors are happy to join the community and start getting to know everyone.

“We purposely chose to move to Port McNeill with our families to start practising as new physicians,” said Dr. O’Connell to NIG. “We know we work well together and we’ll be able to support each other as we get comfortable working in a new community.”

The clinic’s coordinator, Jodi Wright, is just glad to see the number of doctors finally go in the right direction. For a while, Port McNeill had one doctor.

“It has been difficult to watch our community struggle with the challenges of a constantly changing health care environment. Having Dr. O’Connell and Dr. Rogers join Dr. Toweir at our primary care clinic will allow our patients to access regular, timely, high quality care, leading to better health outcomes for our community,” she told North Island Gazette.

Hopefully this trend continues and catches on in places like Cormorant Island as well.

All three doctors are taking on new patients. If you’re looking for a new family doctor, you can call Port McNeill PCC at 250-956-6830 to make an appointment, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.