Kipling to lose three doctors

Town of Kipling Facebook page. The community of Kipling will be facing a doctor shortage very soon as three doctors will be gone by mid-July.

Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator

The community of Kipling will be facing a doctor shortage very soon as three doctors will be gone by mid-July. Drs. Farshad Nokam and Shideh Faghih have been working at the Kipling Integrated Health Centre for more than six years, but will be leaving the community in the middle of June. Dr. Ladan Ansari will also be leaving effective July 11.

“One of the biggest changes specifically for the Kipling community is going to be a doctor shortage,” said Amy Adams, Primary Health Care Manager with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. 

“All three physicians have given their notice,” she told Kipling Town Council on April 8. “We do know that we have one SIPPA (Saskatchewan International Physician Practice) candidate that’s coming, he’s going through his reiteration period right now.”

Adams is hopeful that the new physician will arrive in Kipling possibly during the first week of July.

“We put forward that we want three positions coming, but most of the time we only get one of each reiteration period. But we’re quickly putting it forward to at least get two,” she said. “Once our SIPPA candidates go through their program, that’s usually a three-year contract that they have to fulfill. Once they’re completed those three years, they can apply to go anywhere in Saskatchewan, or reapply to stay.”

Adams shared that the problem of doctor retention is not just local to Kipling—and it’s about to get worse.

“There’s a huge number of physicians that are leaving the province this year, and pretty much within the next four months,” she said.

With a dwindling pool of doctors to court, filling rural hospitals becomes a large task indeed.

“It’s almost a case of how do you attract doctors when there’s nobody to even attract,” CAO Gail Dakue told the World-Spectator. “Our hospital was new in 2013, so hopefully that will be something that somebody will find attractive to come to a new place to work.”

One alternative solution for the time being could be the virtual physician  program—something the SHA rolled out at the Broadview Union Hospital back in January. A long-term disruption of service hit that community in the summer of 2019 due to staffing shortages with emergency room services returning at a reduced capacity in May, 2022. Currently, Broadview has physicians covering the day shift from 7 am to 4 pm with virtual doctors taking over until 11 pm.

“It’s been a success, there hasn’t been any issues,” said Adams of the Broadview solution. “With the virtual physician, it can happen a lot quicker now that we know more about it working with Broadview.”