Montreal

No doctor in Radisson, Que. for 2-week period

Public health officials in the James Bay region say they are doing everything they can to find a doctor who can fill in for two weeks in the remote community of Radisson, Que., that currently does not have a doctor on duty.

Public health scrambling to find doctor for town of 200 in James Bay region

Public health officials in Radisson, Que., are hoping to find a general practitioner who can step in to avoid a service interruption in the small town of 200. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Residents in the small community of Radisson, Que., in the James Bay region, haven't had a doctor for the past week — and won't be able to consult with one for another 15-day period, unless a general practitioner steps in to help.

Public health officials announced on Friday there hasn't been a doctor on call since last Saturday.

"It's never happened before," said Julie Pelletier, the assistant general manager of the James Bay regional health centre.

Normally doctors who practise in Radisson rotate on a three to four week work schedule. The community of 200 residents also draws visitors and Hydro-Québec workers.

Pelletier said the doctor on duty last week had to leave hastily "for a personal matter."

This left the Centre régional de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-James in a tight spot — searching for a new doctor until the scheduled replacement arrives on July 8.

The CRSSS has managed to secure a doctor from June 22 to the 28. Until then, and between June 28 and July 8, Pelletier said they are still on the lookout.

"It's not an easy situation but we are really trying to find someone," she told CBC News.

Meanwhile, the population is being asked to avoid unnecessary consultations at the local clinic, such as annual check-ups.

The clinic remains open however and nursing staff can assess whether patients need to be transferred to the hospital in Chisasibi, a 90-kilometre drive west.

"We already make emergency transfers there when there is a need," said Pelletier.