Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake is among B.C. hospitals preparing for coronavirus patients. (Black Press files)

Retired B.C. doctors standing by to help with coronavirus response

College calls on physician retirees to activate their licences

The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons is getting good response from recently retired doctors, as it asks them to consider returning to work if a potential surge of COVID-19 coronavirus patients requires them.

College registrar Dr. Heidi Oetter told CFAX radio in Victoria Friday that about 100 doctors have been contacted so far, and more than 20 have indicated they would be willing to return if needed. The college is preparing to activate their licences on an emergency basis if their regional health authority indicates there is a need.

The college has never taken this step before, but decided to do it with a chronic shortage of family doctors in B.C. and pressure on walk-in clinics that have a cap on their daily visits since the coronavirus became a world-wide concern.

Oetter said the college is contacting physicians who have retired within the past two years, since it generally requires physicians to be active within three years to keep their skills current.

RELATED: U.S. declares national emergency over coronavirus

RELATED: Health ministry bans large gatherings in B.C.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said phone calls to B.C.’s 8-1-1 HealthLinkBC information line have surged to thousands a day, and additional staff are being added to handle public requests for information about coronavirus and other ailments.

Oetter said the announcement this week by the B.C. health ministry that all travellers from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days upon their return is another concern. Doctors are among those holidaying at this time of year in U.S., Mexico and other sun destinations, and some would have left before the warning, leaving them in quarantine.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommended Thursday that all travel outside Canada be postponed as B.C. deals with a mounting number of cases. Seven additional cases were announced Thursday, bringing the B.C. total to 53, mostly in the Lower Mainland.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River Arts Council’s Banner Project coming to a home near you

‘Banners will be reflective of how a community can stay positive even in difficult times,’ – CRAC executive director

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Federal NDP suggests universal benefit to streamline aid payments

Those who do not need money will repay at end of tax year

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Campbell River community COVID-19 agencies, services and resources list

The list outlines status of social agencies in the community

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read