Trio of Duncan doctors to open the walk-in clinic in this same building as the Lake Cowichan Island Pharmacy at 138 South Shore Road (across from the Visitor Centre).

Trio of Duncan doctors to open the walk-in clinic in this same building as the Lake Cowichan Island Pharmacy at 138 South Shore Road (across from the Visitor Centre).

Duncan doctors ready to open clinic in Lake Cowichan

Travel funding sought through VIHA: Trio ready to open walk-in facility on a part-time basis in September

Lake Cowichan will not be left without doctors after all.

A new walk-in clinic will be coming to the Cowichan Lake area sometime in September, said Dr. Vincent Rossouw, a family physician from the Beverly medical clinic in Duncan.

Rossouw, and two other physicians will open the walk-in clinic in the same building as the Lake Cowichan Island Pharmacy at 138 South Shore Road (across from the Visitor Centre).

It will start operations on a part-time basis. Coverage will be provided Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and half days on most Saturdays and Sundays.

“We are all full-practice family physicians, we all have family practices, and most of us have hospital privileges,” said Rossouw. “I can see this as a very good solution for this community.”

The need for doctors and health care in the Cowichan Lake area has been on the minds of many since the two current doctors announced their pending departure, scheduled for the end of September.

Though the clinic will start on a first-come-first-served, drop-in basis, there are plans to turn it into a by-appointment clinic, if an interest is shown from the community, and funding is found, Rossouw said.

“Unfortunately, because of the funding issue, one doctor has already said that he is not going to look any further,” Rossouw said.

The doctors are seeking funding from VIHA to compensate them for their travel time, but it is not an easy process. Programs and funding exist through the province, but Rossouw has to convince VIHA to apply.

“It’s a very long process to get accepted as a community of need, and Lake Cowichan doesn’t qualify because it’s less than 100 kilometres away from a bigger centre. There are numerous exceptions to this rule and they would grant the funding, but it has to come through VIHA, and VIHA has to apply to the ministry,” Rossouw said.

“Things that would qualify as an exception: Are there a lot of older people in the community? Are the roads quite hazardous, is it difficult to get there, and is there no other medical help around.”

Though there is no certainty funding will become available, the doctors are going to move forward with the clinic because they believe it’s the best solution to Lake Cowichan’s need for medical care.

“I can see this being an excellent way out, to save a lot of money for the government, but I don’t know their mandates. It’s strange to me that they would start a primary care clinic, if they could actually have doctors going up there at a tenth of the price,” Rossouw said.

Choose Cowichan Lake, the group dedicated to attracting new doctors to Cowichan Lake, was caught somewhat by surprise by the move.

Choose Cowichan Lake’s Bob Day told the Gazette they had yet to talk with Russouw.

Instead, they plan to invite him to the next Choose Cowichan Lake meeting, says Day.

 

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

“About a year after it was last used for a bottle drive, Lake Cowichan’s derelict Scout and Guide Hall came down Monday, June 6. Girl Guides have since moved into different churches and halls around the area. Town council has yet to decide what will be done with the now vacant town-owned site.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 8, 2011)
Flashback: A.B. Greenwell, Lady of the Lake, good and bad news for the Lake News

What was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Conner Gilkin, 5, shows of some of his newfound loot to buddy Jax Dul, 7, during the Lake Cowichan treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Weekly hunt has Lake Cowichan digging for treasure

Gold? Silver? Candy? Andrew Braye has stashed away a range of prizes for eager treasure hunters

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read