RE: Dr. Prean Armogam and the proposed VIHA Clinic
When Stephanie Rockman and I moved to Sointula in 2008 there were four doctors available at the Port McNeill Clinic. Once we learned the lay of the land (in physician terms), we both gravitated to Dr. Armogam due to his caring, open attitude and excellent patient care strategies.
He listens and presents options which, for people who are pro-active in their own health care, are attributes sometimes hard to come by.
Dr. Armogam has been our sole health care provider for more than ten years now. For patients who believe, as we do, that having a history with one’s family doctor leads to better health care, this is a comfort.
Rural living is, in many ways, a much healthier option than the alternative.
And while both Stephanie and I are in good health, at 71 and 61, had it not been for Dr. Armogam, we may well have contemplated moving from our relatively isolated community.
As it is, at this point, we only make doctor appointments when absolutely necessary due to the volume of patients and lack of doctors in the area. I’d rather live with the several annoying age-related issues I deal with daily than further crowd the schedule of an overworked, dedicated doctor with no shortage of patients in need.
This last year and a half has been an incredibly trying time for all of us, especially those (such as yourselves) involved in the field of health care. This goes double for the front-line health care workers.
And then there is Dr. Armogam who has long been the lone practictioner for an obscenely large patient base. I can only imagine the stress he has been under.
His reward for such dilligence and sacrifice?
Exclusion from the planning stage and, ultimately, exclusion from working at, the new Port McNeill Health Clinic. And, as I understand, potentially losing access to the hospital.
What are the reasons for Island Health’s position on Dr. Armogam’s banishment from the new clinic?
In this time of racial reckoning and with the lack of cultural diversity in our neighbourhood I would think VIHA might be concerned about the public’s perception of Dr. Armogam’s exclusion.
In a Feb. 17 North Island Gazette interview, Island Health said, “We look forward to engaging with local leaders and the broader community to support a full community approach to recruitment ….” Assuming this is still the case, we, as members of the broader community welcome the opportunity.
The good doctor has been invested in, and an integral part of, this community for 15 years. He is, we believe, exceedingly qualified and the obvious choice to manage the new Port McNeill Clinic.
We respectfully request Island Health to reconsider its position.
Fred Middleton and Stephanie Rockman,
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