Reduced doctor availability coming in Hay River

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There will be a reduced number of doctors in the community for a three-week period in July and a two-week period in August.

Erin Griffiths, the chief executive officer for the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, announced the upcoming shortages on June 17.

Erin Griffiths, chief executive officer of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, has announced there will be a reduced number of doctors in the community for a three-week period in July and a two-week period in August.
NNSL file photo

Due to the staff shortages, reduced practitioner availability will occur from July 1 to July 21 and from Aug. 18 to Aug. 31.

During those time periods, there will be two or three physicians in the community.

“Recruiting family physicians is more challenging than ever before,” said Griffiths in a news release. “We are aware of the impact vacancies have to our community, and we continue to develop ways to improve. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we move forward.”

Beginning on June 24, regular updates will be provided to the public regarding services available at the Medical Clinic in the Hay River Regional Health Centre.

Information can be found on the health authority’s website, on the Facebook page of the Hay River Regional Health Centre, and in weekly updates in The Hub. Community residents can also call 875-7263 for updates.

The health authority stated it is committed to “open and transparent communications” aimed at keeping clients informed on issues of community concern.

Aside from impacts on the Medical Clinic, all other services provided by the health authority will continue as usual during the shortages.

According to the health authority, July and August are particularly challenging months to maintain a full complement of practitioners.

“Across Canada, physicians and nurse practitioners are in high demand, and we are not exempt from this pressure,” stated the news release from the health authority.

Among other steps to deal with the shortage, it is contacting all previous and current locum practitioners for assistance.

It is also drafting a formal recruitment and retention strategy for physicians and nurse practitioners for Hay River.