One of the physicians from Rimbey Medical Clinic is leaving and, at least at this point in time, there is no one on board to fill the vacancy.
Dr. Christine Ellis said Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller is leaving the clinic and plans to work for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta as of March 30.
“We are trying to recruit a new physician, but at this time we don’t have one,” said Ellis. “We do have some hopeful leads, but so far nobody is coming to take over Dr. Weller’s practice.”
Dr. Weller’s departure will mean there are five physicians at the clinic.
The Rimbey doctors will only take on pregnant women as new patients as their patient loads are already full to capacity. They will not be able to accept Dr. Weller’s patients.
“The demand is high and we can’t take on an indefinite number of people and continue to give quality care,” said Dr. Ellis.
She added that the physicians at the clinic understand that the situation is not ideal and are hopeful a new doctor will come on stream soon.
“Recruiting physicians to a rural location is tough,” she said. “They need to practice a broad range of medicine.”
Dr. Ellis pointed out there is round the clock emergency care available at Rimbey Hospital.
A farewell open house will be held at the Rimbey Medical Clinic from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 21.