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Whistler doctors will be closing offices again



Province-wide day of action planned for May 27

Whistler patients can expect closed doctor's offices and cancelled surgeries in coming weeks as talks between the government and the British Columbia Medical Association continue to flounder.

"There's going to be escalating job action and it's going to become very difficult," predicts Dr. Adam Kendall of the Creekside Medical Clinic.

"It's an inconvenience because the already long waiting lists are just going to increase more."

The Creekside Medical Clinical was closed on Wednesday as part of the BCMA job action.

This was the second time the clinic has been closed in recent weeks.

"I have to support my representation, the British Columbia Medical Association," said Kendall of the association that represents most of the province's 7,800 doctors.

"It's an inconvenience definitely but what we need to do is actually put pressure on the government instead of the doctors because we're trying to stand up for honesty in negotiations," he said.

The Town Plaza Medical Clinic was open for patients on Wednesday only because the notice to continue job action came too late on Tuesday night to give them enough time to inform their patients of a closure.

But the doctors there fully support the actions of the BCMA.

By next week, if the conflict is not resolved, B.C. doctors will not be seeing patients on Monday, May 27 in a province-wide action day as directed by the BCMA.

"We will be open for business except as directed by the BCMA and there will be notice of days of closure," said Dr. Janice Carr at the Town Plaza Medical Clinic.

The job action is not just confined to walk in clinics or doctors’ office shutdowns. It has also been extended to hospital surgeries.

Doctors have promised that emergency care will not be compromised and all life or limb situations will be dealt with as business as usual.

Since doctors began cutting back on operations more than 1,400 elective operations have been cancelled province-wide.

On Wednesday all elective surgeries were cancelled, including nine at Richmond, 19 at Lions Gate, seven at Powell River and eight in Squamish.

Physicians at the Squamish General Hospital have also indicated they are withdrawing Doctor of the Day on-call services and are not accepting new "orphaned" patients from other communities as inpatients.

Orphaned patients are those coming to the hospital without a local physician’s referral.

The Squamish doctors will be accepting any corridor patients however, and they will not be turning away any emergency cases.

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