News Release - Ajax Potential Barrier to Keeping Doctors in Kamloops

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on November 20th, 2012 8:30am

A survey has recently been sent to all 207 doctors in Kamloops, 152 of which replied. The following press release details the results of that survey. Complete survey results can be found here. A few interesting notes are that 69.1% of the doctors surveyed said they would have not come to Kamloops when searching for a community to practice. Second, if the Ajax mine was in place 35.5% of the surveyed doctors will leave town if the Ajax mine is approved. Read the 

News Release

Ajax Potential Barrier to Keeping Doctors in Kamloops

November 19, 2012

Kamloops, B.C. - The results of a Kamloops physician-led survey reveal that the Ajax Mine would have a significant impact on Royal Inland Hospital – B.C.'s fourth busiest Trauma Centre. Nearly seventy per cent of physicians responded either 'probably' or 'definitely' to the question 'If you were a physician searching for a community in which to practise, and the Ajax mine as proposed was in place, would you eliminate Kamloops as an option?'

“To date we have not heard how the proponent of the Ajax mine project plans to study its impact on physician recruitment and retention. We hope our study will be of value to community members of Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap, the Environment Assessment Office and municipal, provincial and federal leaders,” says orthopedic surgeon Derek Plausinis. 

“Patient wait times and access to specialist care throughout Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap would worsen with this major barrier to physician recruitment,” explains orthopedic surgeon William Beaton.

Thirty-six percent of Kamloops physicians who responded to the survey say they will 'probably' or 'definitely' move their practice to another community if the Ajax mine is approved. This in a community where an estimated 15,000 residents are without a family doctor and wait lists to access specialist physicians are already lengthy.

“A number of colleagues have commented in conversation that they plan to leave Kamloops if the Ajax mine goes ahead,” says emergency physician and Royal Inland Hospital Trauma Director Alan Vukusic. “We put this survey together because our community and its leaders need this information”.

Kamloops physicians express concern for their patients and broader community. 84.2% of respondents answered “yes” to the question 'Are you concerned about the potential health impacts of the Ajax mine on the people of Kamloops?'

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Three physicians - Dr. William Beaton, Dr. Derek Plausinis and Dr. Alan Vukusic - created and distributed the three-question survey to 207 physicians in Kamloops. The response rate was 73.4%. (152 responses).

Royal Inland Hospital is the regional referral centre for more than 220,000 people from  west of Williams Lake to Revelstoke to Merritt and Lillooet. It is the 4th busiest Trauma Centre in B.C.

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Alan Vukusic
Emergency Physician, RIH

Derek Plausinis
Orthopedic Surgeon, RIH

William Beaton
Orthopedic Surgeon, RIH


BMcMorland on 2012-11-20 19:07:35

Our own doctor is in process of moving. Could this be one of the factors in his decision? I bet it is.

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