The Campbell Clinic in Lethbridge is one of several in the Alberta city that isn’t accepting new patients.
In fact, the clinic doesn’t have enough doctors to cover its current patient list.
“We’ve had one physician retire in May and we’re trying to find spots for her patients within our group of doctors,” Campbell Clinic manager Tim Neufeld said.
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“Unfortunately, there’s not going to be room for everybody.”
When asked about doctor availability in Lethbridge, Alberta Health Services directed Global News to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) website, which currently lists eight doctors in the city accepting new patients.
But people trying to find a doctor from that list might be too late.
According to a CPSA spokesperson, that list is only updated once a year — in mid-January — unless a doctor makes the CPSA aware of any changes in their availability.
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Global News managed to contact the clinics for six of the doctors currently on the CPSA list and they all had the same answer: we cannot accept new patients at this time.
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Neufeld says the problem is many physicians have left Lethbridge.
“Over the last six to eight months, there’s been various physicians who have left the community,” Neufeld said.
“Some are retirements, some are for better opportunities within the province and some are outside the province.”
He adds the clinic’s doctors have been in contact with AHS about the backlog.
“There’s starting to be awareness of the issue and hopefully there’s more headway in the near future.”
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Doctors may be in short supply, but the stream of patients seeking medical help isn’t slowing down.
“There’s a lot of desperate patients out there looking for a physician,” Neufeld said, “and unfortunately, we just can’t take any more at this time.”
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