The Port McNeill & District Hospital. (North Island Gazette file photo)

The Port McNeill & District Hospital. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Island Health considering publicly owned clinic for health-challenged Port McNeill

Proposal for clinic space launched as community struggles to maintain services as staff shrinks

A North Island community questioning the future of its health care has at least a few more answers.

Port McNeill residents are concerned about maintaining current health care services after learning the town will only have one doctor on staff by the end of May.

Last week, Mayor Gaby Wickstrom used Facebook to provide some answers.

Wickstrom noted a proposal for clinic space was recently requested by the province, and then issued a list of information that she was given courtesy of Island Health:

1. Island Health recognizes the need to take steps to stabilize primary care for the residents of Port McNeill and surrounding rural and remote communities.

2. As one strategy, Island Health will issue a Request for Proposals seeking an appropriate site to establish a health authority owned and operated primary care clinic in Port McNeill.

3. Working closely with our community and clinical partners, our goal is to create a sustainable model for primary care in Port McNeill, similar to models used in other communities within Island Health.

4. It will take time to develop and stabilize this model, and recruit the clinical staff necessary to operate a sustainable clinic. This will require collaboration and a full community approach to recruitment.

5. In the interim, Island Health, in collaboration with FNHA, the community and our clinical partners, will use short-term options, such as the use of temporary clinician coverage, locums, and care providers from neighbouring communities to support patient care in Port McNeill and surrounding communities.

“The Town of Port McNeill and the ‘Namgis First Nation have been working together with Island Health to advocate for a better model of care for our residents and those who utilize both the clinic and hospital,” added Wickstrom. “Our goal is a sustainable, long term model that others in the province can look to as an example for rural health care.”

Port McNeill is currently served by a single private clinic that will be staffed by a single doctor by the end of May. That doctor and his departing partner say they have been struggling to maintain service levels under the current model and will not be able to continue.

They have been lobbying for a new model for the community of about 2,000 people and its surrounding area.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Port McNeill medical clinic closes then reopens as talks reach breaking point

RELATED: Departing doctor cuts Port McNeill staffing in half


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City CouncilHealthcare

Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read