Ashcroft loses another doctor

Dr. Peedilayil has given his notice but recruiters hope to have another doctor in Ashcroft before he leaves.

Ashcroft will be back to one doctor by the beginning of May: Dr. Tarang Peedikayil has submitted his resignation, effective Apr. 30.

David Durksen, spokesperson for The Wellness and Health Action Coalition (WHAC), said his group has been negotiating with another doctor to relocate to Ashcroft. He said they’re hoping to have that concluded before Dr. Peedikayil’s resignation takes effect.

Durksen said Peedikayil’s resignation was unexpected, but one of the main reasons was burnout.

Peedikayil and his partner, Dr. Sarina Govindasamy, arrived in Ashcroft in January 2013. The town’s third doctor, Dr. Anoinette Kitshoff, announced that she was leaving less than two months later.

The two doctors have been managing their own family practices as well as keeping the Emergency Room open with the help of locums. But locums are not always available.

Durksen said there is no change in ER hours expected at this time, as long as they can continue with locum coverage.

“This looks bad,” Durksen said, “but there’s an energy with Interior Health this time, and we’re moving forward.”

WHAC has been meeting with IH this year, trying to forge a positive working relationship to answer the local challenges to healthcare.

He said they need to focus on stabilizing the clinic practice in Ashcroft, and to do that, they need to address the underlying causes of high turnover, like burnout. “We can’t keep putting bandaids on the problem.”

Doctors like this area, said Durksen, and the lifestyle it provides. But to properly run the services that IH wants here, we need five doctors.

“In 18 months to two years, I believe we’ll be at four,” he says. For now, “I’m quietly optimistic that we will maintain two doctors.”

Durksen said administration is a big problem for all doctors. At one time the Ministry of Health took care of the paperwork, but 30 years ago they downloaded it to doctors, with no compensation.

“That’s been an elephant in the room,” he said. “I’ve been asking IH how we can handle that, but we haven’t received any answers. Now we’re being pushy on it.”

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read