On Tuesday morning, the Port McNeill Medical Clinic (PMMC) announced it was closing until further notice.
By the end of the day, it was open again.
After originally announcing the closure on the Port McNeill Medical Collaborative Facebook page due to “lack of support” from Island Health, the clinic then posted around 6:30 p.m. that “after discussion with various stakeholders and agencies, we are able to continue with services.”
When asked what caused the change of heart, a clinic spokeperson said it was mainly due to pressure from the residents of the community. The spokesperson added that nothing has really changed as clinic operators are still struggling and want to “turn the business side over to Island Health so we can just be doctors. We want to follow the Port Hardy model, that way we can at least get people to work here and stay. The standard for health care in our region should all be the same.”
As for where the clinic is currently standing with Island Health, the spokesperson said it is still waiting for a commitment. “It’s been five years now and there’s still no commitment from Island Health.”
Island Health responded to the clinic’s claims with the following statement:
“We recognize that with the recent departure of two physicians from the Port McNeill Medical Clinic (PMMC), this has been a challenging situation for the remaining physicians. However, family physicians are private, independent business people who choose where they want to locate their medical practice.”
“While Island Health is not responsible for recruiting family physicians into private practice, for the last several months, Island Health has been working collaboratively with the Doctors of BC and the PMMC to identify and explore options to support a sustainable model for the clinic and its physicians.”
“We are committed to continuing to work with the PMMC into the future, with the continued shared goal of developing a sustainable model to support the clinic and the communities served.”