New physician coming to McLennan

Dr. Ifeanyi Ezike

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Another physician is coming to the Falher-McLennan region in the next few months.

“I am pleased to announce that we will have a new physician practising in the Smoky River area by this fall,” says Myrna Lanctot, co-ordi- nator of the Smoky River Regional Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee.

Dr. Ifeanyi Ezike will arrive with his family, she says.

“Dr. Ezike is waiting for his three-month assessment posting,” says Lanctot.

Once complete, he will practise out of the McLennan Associate Medical Clinic.”

When he arrives, Dr. Ezike will become the third physician in the region at the Sacred Heart Community Health Centre and the second to arrive in 2021.

Dr. Lynn Hanekom started her practice in the Falher Medical Clinic in early April.

Lanctot says the committee is gaining momentum in its efforts to recruit physicians.

“The committee has about an 80 per cent success rate for physicians choosing the Smoky River area to practise in,” Lanctot says.

“We have one posting left to fill and will continue to work diligently to do so.”

Dr. Ezike and another physician have chosen to practise in the Smoky River region, she says.

“One of them has an exam to complete prior to his three-month assessment placement,” Lanctot says.

“The exam was written at the end of June and his results will be known some time around the middle of August.”

At that time, Lanctot says she plans to name that physician.

Potential physicians who visit the region value the warm welcome.

“When I am touring around the communities, the people are very friendly and welcoming to the doctors,” Lanctot says.

“Some of the doctors have said many thanks for the tour, it was a wonderful experience.

“The Smoky River region is a beautiful place with warm people.

“The uniqueness of your communities cannot be overemphasized.

“You‘ve exceeded our expectations.”

New physicians are fitting it quite well in the community.

“Dr. Hanekom has been a valuable addition to our communities,” Lancot says.

“Dr. Pieter De Wet and Dr. Hanekom have been working long hours, along with the locum program, to ensure the McLennan hospital stays open for service.”

Efforts to recruit physicians to the region have come a long way in the past year.

In May 2020, council leaders of the five Smoky River municipalities sent a letter to Health Minister Tyler Shandro to inform him about a shortage of doctors “that would drastically change from urgent to crisis by mid-July” [2020], the letter states.

At that time, there would be only two physicians at the hospital.

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