GUYSBOROUGH – Guysborough Memorial Hospital (GMH) is meant to have a compliment of four full-time physicians, but it has been years since the facility has been fully staffed.
Since last spring, only one full-time physician has been holding down the fort with assistance from locums (temporary physicians) pitching in to keep the facility open.
Due to physician shortages, the emergency department has seen an increase in the scheduled days closed this year, with closures sometimes lasting up to seven days in a row.
That’s why the Guysborough Memorial Hospital Foundation was pleased to issue a news release last week informing residents in the GMH catchment area that a new physician is scheduled to arrive next month.
The release stated, “Dr. Olawumi Adaramodu anticipates joining the clinic in Guysborough where she will provide primary care (office practice), rotating coverage of the emergency department at Guysborough Memorial Hospital and service the inpatients of the Hospital as well as the Milford Haven Home for Special Care.”
Dr. Adaramodu has been practicing family medicine in the United Kingdom for the past five years and said of her move to Guysborough, “I am looking forward to coming to Guysborough to provide medical services and engaging with the community.”
Foundation Chairperson Bill Innis stated, “I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Adaramodu to Guysborough, which will greatly aid us in providing physician coverage for the residents of Guysborough and area. This is a testament to the hard work of the members of the Foundation and the Guysborough community in attracting a new full-time physician to Guysborough.”
Speaking with The Journal on Feb. 7, Innis spoke of the process involved in a physician transferring across continents.
“First, she needed to be licensed by the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons. Once that was approved, then she had to go to the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons to get approval from them. Then she had to apply for immigration to Canada and, in order for that to happen, she had to have a job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority. So, she got the job offer and submitted her immigration papers just before Christmas. And she just found out last week that her immigration has been approved,” said Innis, adding, “These are huge steps. None of these processes are short.”
Innis is happy to have good news to offer for those who have begun to lose faith in the ability of rural hospitals to provide the level of healthcare that was once unquestioned in the Guysborough area.
But one new doctor isn’t enough, and Innis told The Journal, two additional physicians — one in the United States and one in the U.K. – are going through the approval phase with the intention of taking up positions at GMH.