The Cypress Health Region is pleased to announce that they have recruited a physician who will be available to provide ‘locum’ physician assistance throughout the region’s communities. Dr. Jas Gill, a recent graduate of the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Residency Program, has been recruited to the position and begins his duties today.
The Regional Locum Physician opportunity has been developed through a partnership between Cypress Health Region and the Ministry of Health. It is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Health which could be an opportunity for other areas of the province to implement as well.
This new strategy will provide a variety of benefits that will address the retention of existing physicians, offer an in-house option that will be available to provide relief, assist with coverage levels for clinics and emergency departments, and provide the ability to respond to unanticipated physician unavailability that will reduce the number of temporary disruptions of service.
“We are very thankful to the Ministry for their support and endorsement of this model for locum physician assistance right here in our region,” said Grant Browne, Medical Affairs Coordinator for Cypress Health. “The benefits are numerous for our existing physicians, communities, and are a direct strategy that targets putting our health care patients first.”
Browne anticipates an immediate benefit for the rural physician practices that are currently being challenged by having a less than full complement of physicians.
“The availability of a regional locum physician will help us to coordinate the priorities for his coverage and schedule him accordingly to help out throughout the region.”
Due to the high demand for locum physician services throughout the region, the presence of Dr. Gill’s position will certainly be a great benefit but may not be able to accommodate all of the needs for locums. The region and physicians will continue to utilize the availabilities of other locum physician resources (i.e. Saskatchewan Medical Association’s Locum Pool) and other options to assist when locum coverage is required.
Dr. Gill has spent the last two years as part of the Family Medicine Postgraduate Training Program under the coordination of Dr. Tara Lee with Swift Current’s Associate Family Physicians Clinic. The program serves as a distributive learning option for the College of Medicine, and has seen four Family Medicine Residents per year learning and training with experienced physicians in Swift Current and area.
His first official placement will be in Maple Creek on July 3.