Editor, The Times:
The article titled “Seniors needs assessment underway in Clearwater” (June 18 issue) raises a number of important issues but, first and foremost, those dealing with attracting seniors to Clearwater need to address the “medical factor.”
The sole medical practice in Clearwater has only two full-time family practitioners at present, whereas at one stage there were five. Attempts to attract more full-time doctors have not worked over the course of the past 12 months and the organizers of this assessment need to tackle this issue as a top priority – why are doctors not interested in coming to Clearwater?
There is a reasonable “cycling” of locums through practice and hospital, although summer seems to be more attractive to them than winter, but this situation is far from ideal and does not address the underlying problems.
It is my understanding that the hospital is understaffed, Forest View Place (long-term care facility) is full and little relief seems to be in the offing!
Organizations such as those listed in the article – Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Age-Friendly Communities Program and Community Development Institute of UNBC sound grand and lofty but do they have the right answers? However, Greg Halseth (CDI) says it all, “But you have to ensure that seniors have access to the services and amenities they need….” Clearwater, it would seem, has a way to go, particularly in the field of health provision.