Doctor survey just piece of puzzle

Kamloops Daily News
November 24, 2012 01:00 AM

A group of Kamloops MDs apparently believes the proposed Ajax mine is a prescription for a doctor shortage in the Tournament Capital.

Earlier this week The Daily News carried an exclusive report on a survey conducted by three local doctors - two orthopedic surgeons and an emergency physician - that suggests Kamloops might have a hard time recruiting and even keeping doctors if the mine is allowed to go ahead.

Of 152 physicians responding to a poll of 207 doctors, 105 said they'd definitely or probably not consider the Tournament Capital as a place to set up a practice if the mine was here. The rest said the mine wouldn't be a make-or-break factor in their decision.

A second question on the survey asked whether doctors would consider pulling up stakes if the mine is allowed to go ahead. Fifty-four said definitely or probably, 98 said not likely or no.

A third and final question asked about concern for possible negative health effects of the mine. Understandably - given the lack of information on potential hazards of the operation - 84 per cent voiced a concern.

The doctors - Derek Plausinis, Alan Vukusic and William Beaton - deserve credit for bringing the issue to the attention of Kamloops residents, many of whom already find themselves without a family doctor.

While it's true the availability of doctors is a factor many people consider when looking to relocate to another city, it's not the only one.

Kamloops residents - especially if they're currently unemployed - don't need to be reminded that the availability of jobs and the ability to support one's family is likely the biggest factor to be taken into consideration when looking for a place to live.

The doctors have made a good living in Kamloops. Indeed, two of them billed the government for more than $300,000 in services last year.

Most of us are willing to wait until all the facts are in before taking a position on the mine, but it's not a stretch to suggest that ordinary folks should have an opportunity to make a good living and raise their families with the security of a solid job and the wages that come with it.

The fact that doctors might have second thoughts about Kamloops if the mine was developed is concerning, but it's only one piece of the Ajax puzzle to be considered when deciding whether to support or oppose the development.

It's certainly not the game-changer that some might consider it to be.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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