The number of doctors in Fort Macleod in southern Alberta has suddenly been cut in half, prompting a search for more family physicians.

Calgary, AB

"In a small town it's just ... one of those things you have to deal with," said Mayor Shawn Patience, adding the town has gone from seven physicians to one before.

"And we've been successful in the past in recruiting new physicians and I expect we'll be successful in this instance as well."

On Friday, the Fort Macleod Family Medical Clinic unexpectedly closed, dropping the number of doctors from four to two — which means there is now only one clinic in the town.

Alberta Health Services southern zone director Dr. Vanessa Maclean says Fort Macleod should really have five doctors.

"And we're hoping to have some new options for the community relatively quickly so that people aren't left without primary care access for very long," Maclean explained.

She says the town also has a 24-hour emergency care clinic, which will remain open and staffed.

Fort Macleod is located about 170 kilometres south of Calgary.