Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake is among B.C. hospitals preparing for coronavirus patients. (Black Press files)

Retired B.C. doctors standing by to help with coronavirus response

College calls on physician retirees to activate their licences

The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons is getting good response from recently retired doctors, as it asks them to consider returning to work if a potential surge of COVID-19 coronavirus patients requires them.

College registrar Dr. Heidi Oetter told CFAX radio in Victoria Friday that about 100 doctors have been contacted so far, and more than 20 have indicated they would be willing to return if needed. The college is preparing to activate their licences on an emergency basis if their regional health authority indicates there is a need.

The college has never taken this step before, but decided to do it with a chronic shortage of family doctors in B.C. and pressure on walk-in clinics that have a cap on their daily visits since the coronavirus became a world-wide concern.

Oetter said the college is contacting physicians who have retired within the past two years, since it generally requires physicians to be active within three years to keep their skills current.

RELATED: U.S. declares national emergency over coronavirus

RELATED: Health ministry bans large gatherings in B.C.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said phone calls to B.C.’s 8-1-1 HealthLinkBC information line have surged to thousands a day, and additional staff are being added to handle public requests for information about coronavirus and other ailments.

Oetter said the announcement this week by the B.C. health ministry that all travellers from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days upon their return is another concern. Doctors are among those holidaying at this time of year in U.S., Mexico and other sun destinations, and some would have left before the warning, leaving them in quarantine.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommended Thursday that all travel outside Canada be postponed as B.C. deals with a mounting number of cases. Seven additional cases were announced Thursday, bringing the B.C. total to 53, mostly in the Lower Mainland.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society inundated with new arrivals at this time of the year

Jane Sproull Thomson Special to Black Press In spring the Mountainaire Avian… Continue reading

Consultation for Comox Valley Sewer Service postponed to fall

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission has approved plans to reschedule public engagement… Continue reading

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

442 squadron to perform fly-by over Comox Valley hospital to salute COVID-19 workers

Cormorant helicopter will fly over the hospital at 7 p.m.

Comox Valley Classic Cruisers hitting the road to bring the community together

Residences, hospital, on the list to drive by Thursday night

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Most Read