As a result of the departure of three of the six doctors of the Knowlton Medical Clinic, the Management Committee of the Regional Department of General Medicine of the CIUSSS Estrie, the Minister and deputy of Brome-Missisiquoi, Isabelle Charest, the Mayor of Town of Brome Lake, Richard Burcombe, and the Users Committee of CIUSSS Estrie are currently sounding the alarm with the Quebec Department of Health and are trying to adopt measures to deal with the needs of the large number of orphaned patients. What does this actually mean in the current context? “Let’s just say we can make certain visits and that the situation Is partially under control,” answered Dr. Michael Camirand. In other words, the doctors in the area manage to handle the pressing needs of TBL. But the aging demographics of the population, combined with the area’s aging doctors, will force us to find solutions other than emergency measures.”
Right now all potential solutions are on the radar screen: improve preventive care, which up to now has been overshadowed by regular medical treatment; hire specialized nurses, currently a rare commodity; adopt a ministerial decree to change the current plans of the Department of Health regarding how doctors are assigned to the region, what we call the PREM (regional plan for medical personnel). However, currently on the ground very little has changed.
“The Eastern Townships, especially the administrative region of the Pommeraie, where TBL is located, will experience difficulties in attracting personnel for the next ten or fifteen years,” according to Dr. Camirand, assistant manager of professional services for the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS. Complicating the situation are the elderly population in the region and the number of doctors nearing retirement age.
Medical services in residences for the elderly
• Excelsoins (Maison Knowlton): the residence is looking to fill the gap left by the departure of Dr. Barakett. Discussions are currently underway to hire the services of a doctor on site twice a month and on call at any time.,
• Knowlbanks: this residence never had a doctor assigned to provide services to residents. The situation remains unchanged.
• Manoir Lac-Brome: Dr. Dominique Désy, since 1997, is the doctor assigned to this residence. She visits twice a month and is on call at all times.
Translation: Tam Davis