Another family doctor to retire

Keremeos is now on the hunt for two family doctors. Longtime area physician Dr. Michael Biggs will retire this fall.

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Keremeos is now on the hunt for two family doctors.

Longtime area physician Dr. Michael Biggs has given notice to Interior Health and is set to retire in September.

“Keremeos is really lucky. They have an excellent health centre there. They’ve been our most stable area for doctors for a good many years,” Susan Brown, VP of acute services for Interior Health said.

Biggs will be the second doctor to retire from the facility in the last year. Dr. Partridge retired in late 2014 although he is continuing to work in the interim while a replacement is found.

Brown said physicians at the health centre are integral in the process of doctor recruitment.

“The physicians themselves are very proactive in the process. They talk amongst themselves. They’d already began advertising before Dr. Partridge was done,” she said.

Keremeos will be represented at the Interior Health booth at a physician recruitment health job fair being held in Penticton in the coming months.

“We know that for physicians they really want to talk to the other physicians. They want to know what is their practice like. What’s the call set like. How do they like living and working in the community. Doctors are our best ambassadors,” she said.

Currently there are at least 100 vacant family physician positions in the Interior Health authority.

Interior Health has been in talks with the municipality and other stakeholders about ways to improve chances

of attracting new physicians.

Ideas floating around include having a home furnished for locums or new doctors to use while they are settling in.

 

“Often times locums will stay in the community. They are doing the locum to find out what the community is like and what the opportunities are like. It’s nice for them to have a home to stay in instead of an apartment or a hotel,” she said.

As it’s still several months away it’s unknown at this time how the centre will handle Dr. Biggs retirement or how long he will stay on in the interim.

“It can take quite a bit of time to find a physician. We’ll be working closely with the community to help in that process,” she said.

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