Thousands of locals will be left without a family doctor as another time-in clinic in Vancouver Island closes operations.
In an update with the title Closing message, posted on the Eagle Creek Medical Clinics website, it was announced that the walk-in clinic will close with effect from April 15th.
According to the announcement, two of the clinic’s doctors, Dr. George Zabakolas and Dr. Chelsie Velikovsky, decided to stop practicing family medicine in Victoria. They will move to work primarily from the United States and through local private “online-only” clinics.
This also affects the gait clinic in the same place.
In total, the closure affects 3,000 people and 5,000 on the waiting list for family doctors.
According to the announcement, local medical shortages have affected the clinic’s ability to function effectively. The clinic is also unable to handle the influx of the 3,000 new orphans.
After April 15, the clinic will switch to an internal “doctor of the day” program.
“This is not good news for our community, and the management team at Eagle Creek Medical Clinic (ECMC) feels terribly that this is happening,” the statement said.
“We investigated all possible options to find a replacement provider for affected patients, but the other non-PCN clinicians in the clinic are already at or out of capacity right now.”
According to the team, job postings have been made locally and internationally to replace the current doctors, but it is not expected that new doctors will be available to fill these two practices.
The post caught the attention of locals as it was shared on a Victoria Reddit thread. One user noted that the Reddit thread was the first they had seen the message and the first they had heard about losing their family doctor.
According to the website, a letter was sent out to patients by the two doctors on January 10 with notice of the impending closure.
According to the clinic, there are currently more than 100,000 patients in Greater Victoria without a family physician due to the severe shortage of community-based, longitudinal physicians in the metropolitan area (CRD).
Therefore, customers will not be transferred to new providers.
During the next three months before the doctors’ departure, patients should book an ‘appointment’ with Dr. Zabakolas, Dr. Velikovsky or Walk-in Clinic (if this is your ‘medical home’) as soon as possible.
“To all affected patients: we apologize and we sincerely wish there was more we could do to offer better opportunities for you.”