Friday, 29 September 2017 05:45

Cypress Health considering option of primary health care site for Cabri

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The Cypress Health Region is considering a change to the delivery of health care services in Cabri.


The health region is looking at the option to set up a primary health care site in Cabri and an information evening about this proposal took place in the community on Sept. 27.
Cypress Health Cypress Health interim CEO Larry Allsen spoke about the reasons for considering this option at a regular meeting of the Cypress Regional Health Authority board in Swift Current, Sept. 20.
“We lost our physician in Cabri and we’re having some difficulty recruiting there for whatever reason,” he said.
“It’s time of the year and things like that.”
The sole physician in the community, Dr. Fanie de Nysschen, retired at the end of July. The Town of Cabri owns the Cabri Medical Clinic, which was rented by the physician.
After some discussion with community partners the health region wants to consider the primary health care option as an alternative for delivering services in Cabri, which will include a physician and nurse practitioner (NP) services and not just a physician for five days a week.
“Part of the process for that is we have to go through the ministry process on primary care, and one of those processes is we have to have community consultation over needs assessment,” Allsen said. “In this case we’re not going to have a full-blown need assessment, but we’re going to have a consultation with the community and give them presentations on what primary care is and answer the questions that they have and then we’ll put this package all together and give the proposal to the ministry to see if they will fund a primary care site in Cabri.”
Most of the rural communities in the health region are already primary health care sites. The communities of Eastend, Hodgeville, Leader, Mankota, Maple Creek, Ponteix, Shaunavon and Vanguard provide primary health care services.
“It’s easier to recruit a physician to come in when they don’t have to hire staff, have a clinic,” he said.
“Also at this primary care we will have NP services. So, maybe a physician two days a week and a NP one day a week, depending on what we can arrange with the ministry when we have our discussions. It’s not just a physician five days a week and it may be appealing for say a physician in Swift Current to take a two day a week primary care contract in Cabri that can augment their clinic in Swift Current.”
Recruiting a physician for a primary health care site in Cabri might also be easier because the person will be a contracted physician.
“If it’s just a physician coming in, it’s fee-for-service and they bill directly to the ministry and if it’s a contracted physician we actually pay the physician,” he explained. “They have a contract with us.”
Allsen believes this option will be more appealing because a physician’s income will be clear from the contract.
“They don’t have to worry about hiring people, they don’t have to have that clinical staff,” he said. “That will be part of our responsibility. It’s just easier for them to come in.”
In the meantime, the health region will continue to arrange for temporary physician coverage at Cabri.
“We’re trying to cover the days with a locum,” he said. “We have in our region what we call a rural locum. So we have one person on contract that goes out to these sites when we have vacancies. … We do have some other physicians in the region that have stepped up and said I can come out for a day. We’re trying to fill as many days as we can.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

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