Morden Menzies Medical Centre held an information night on Wednesday to help over 24,000 users of the community clinic and healthcare system in the region, navigate through abbreviated services due to staffing shortages.
Dr Kevin Earl explained the goal of the night.
"Primary care providers, we deeply care for the community, for the health of the community, and we realize that access is challenging and difficult. This evening was hopefully to provide a little bit of insight into the background behind those challenges and just to give some simple ways to maybe making access to care easier for them."
Earl explained one of the many challenges with clinic time availability.
"Between the roughly 50 physicians between Morden and Winkler, there are those 30 roles that are required just to allow the hospital to function, and those roles are over the course of the 24 hours, so evening and overnight roles. If you're working overnight, it means the next day, you’re not able to do duties. So, it's really a puzzle to put our schedule together and to make it work, and it's resulted in a reduction in some of the services."
The challenges like walk-in clinic hours and limited appointment times will continue to be an on-going challenge until more physicians come to Morden.
He explained having medical learners who come here for training, fall in love with the area and community and want to put down roots and practice here.
"Seeing that the community is caring, accepting of them, seeing that they're willing to see them when they're in the learning stage. When they hear from people in the community, all the wonderful things about living in the community gets them excited about being here. When they interact with businesses and activities in the community and those are positive interactions that reinforces their decision to put down roots here. So, that is really what we can do as a community to show these learners that we're appreciative they're here and we want them to stay."
During the presentation, it was noted negative online conversations and reviews will affect the recruitment and retention of staff and will only perpetuate the existing challenges. Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to reach out to MMC Executive Director Nicole Walske to gain a deeper understanding of the work being done to improve healthcare in Morden. Walske added, recruitment and retention efforts are a part of her everyday work.
Earl encouraged people who don't have a family doctor to sign up for one.
"There are currently 24,000 patients that access Menzies Medical Center for Care. 14,000 of those patients are registered with a primary care provider, either physician or nurse practitioner. Of the remaining 10,000, only 2000 are registered with family Doctor Finder that they are looking for primary care provider, and 8000 have not registered."
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, PembinaValleyOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the PembinaValleyOnline app.
To hear the full presentation of the Menzies Medical Centre Info night click play: