The doctor shortage in Fort St. John is about to get worse.
By this summer, the city of of eighteen thousand (with a service area of 26 thousand) will be down to 13 doctors. One of the two walk in clinics will also close at the end of the month.
Doctor Paul Mackey is a spokesperson for the Fort St. John Medical Clinic. He says doctors in the community are facing huge pressures.
"Can I honestly say I really like turning up to work? Well, less and
less so. So it's a struggle. Our time may one day come too soon."
Katie Maximick is among those who is losing her doctor. Engaged and ready to start a family, she's questioning whether she has a future in Fort St John.
"It's something that definitely makes a lot of us, young women and families in Fort St John go, 'are we going to stay or are we going to move?'"
Maximick says there's a sense in the community that Northern Health isn't doing enough to address the problem, and she's also heard some people who are feeling betrayed by the doctors who are leaving.
"Which isn't fair, I understand that the doctors are extremely overworked... but at the same time, if you know that the community is in a huge crisis, why are eight of you walking out at the same time? That's what people are saying. Why are you leaving us when you know this is what we're going through, what about us?"
Listen to the full interview with Maximick below: