For years, Dr. Prean Armogam has been asking VIHA for more help because there are so few doctors in the area. At one point during the pandemic, he and his team were so overworked that they almost closed down the clinic. VIHA is (finally) setting up a new clinic in Port McNeill. But they aren’t going to hire Dr. Armogam. In fact, they want him to hand over all of his patients.
Dr. Armogam has 3,000 patients. He told the Times Colonist last month that VIHA isn’t interested in letting him keep some, even though a lot of them are older folks and have chronic illnesses. He said VIHA wanted to start with a “clean slate” with their new clinic.
His patients aren’t taking this move lying down. Anita Harvie has started a petition to keep him. In her petition she reminds everyone that ‘[h]e is “OUR” family Doctor and has taken excellent care of us for 15 years, while other physicians have come and gone.”
Harvie thinks VIHA is trying to get rid of him because he has been so persistent in asking for more doctors in Port McNeill.
“It is obvious they are forcing him to limit his practice which would exclude hundreds of us. We choose him to continue to care for those of us who live in Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Port Alice.”
According to Dr. Armogam, the rural North Island is “invisible to our health authority.” In a letter to the North Island Gazette, he said that he and local people have spent years coming up with solutions to local health care problems and VIHA has ignored them.
More than 700 people have signed the petition as of June 8. Harvie’s goal is 1,000 signatures.