Patients will be going back to making an appointment with their family doctor instead of going to the emergency room for non-emergency related issues. Effective, Monday, the emergency department will no longer have a walk-in style clinic because two new doctors will be starting next week.
"We're going back to the original service times," explained Cheryl Harrison, Director of Patient Services at St Joseph's Hospital. "We are going back to 24/7 emergency services as we always had. What we added in the last four months is that we brought in a general physician in the emergency department to handle all levels of care because of the physician shortage here in Estevan."
"We had a physician here from 8-4 every day to see all levels of care because of our shortage but now we have new physicians here. He had a new physician start two weeks ago and we have two more starting next week."
Harrison adds that they feel that people will be able now to have appointments in their doctor's offices and the emergency department can go back to being for emergencies.
"It will go back to the usual. There won't be anything different to see. We had a physician sitting in our emergency department from 8-4 every day to see patients for the last four months. That physician is now going to go back to be in his office and will be seeing patients there."
"If you come in with your emergency, things will look the same. You will have a physician attend to your emergency."
More information about the new doctors will be coming next week.