The Esquimalt Treatment Centre at 918 Esquimalt Rd. closed at the end of 2018, leaving Esquimalt with just one walk-in clinic (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Township of Esquimalt explores options amidst doctor shortage crisis

A recent report found that between Esquimalt and Westshore, 36,000 people don’t have a family doctor

The Township of Esquimalt is researching strategies to combat the severe doctor shortage it faces.

In a committee of the whole meeting, Esquimalt council heard a report from the South Island Division of Family Practice (SIDFP), which stated that “the need for new primary care services in Esquimalt is immediate.”

This report comes forward following the recent closure of one of the two walk-in clinics in the area, and the relocation of one physician to the Victoria area.

This leaves the 17,000 residents in Esquimalt with one walk-in clinic, and a combined Esquimalt-Westshore population of 36,000 people without a family physician.

READ MORE: Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

The SIDFP recommended that both short term (in the next six months) and medium term (in the next 1-2 years) spaces need to be made available.

During committee, Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins noted that the letter followed ongoing discussions with Island Health and the South Island General Practitioners Division.

“What they have identified is that Esquimalt is in crisis. We do need more practitioners and they have sent that message forward and made requests to the province,” Desjardins said, adding that she could not give out details on these provincial requests at the time.

ALSO READ: Victoria doctor forced into early retirement as specialist moves into rental space

Council also spoke of the importance of making room for physicians within the Township

“As Esquimalt is changing and shifting, we need to make sure that we are addressing that there is commercial space available for those facilities,” Desjardins said.

Currently, research conducted on behalf of the Township and the Fraternal Order of Eagles is exploring more details about the need for physicians and possible solutions, with a final report expected on April 15.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read