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Letter: A proposal to help fix family doctor problem

Yes, there will be obstacles and problems, but the overall urgency means we must start something
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Editor:

I have an idea to get doctors into our area.

Approximately 50,000 Kamloopsians are among 900,000 British Columbians in need of a family doctor/nurse practitioner.

For my example, I will choose 25,000 people in need.

We should advertise and ask doctors and nurses to submit their names if they would like to set up their business in Kamloops. The names would be collected in absolute privacy.

With 25,000 people in need of a family doctor, they could be divided into 25 groups of 1,000.

Each person in each group puts up $400. A five-year commitment from patients works out to $6.66 per patient per month.

Most people would gladly pay that. That’s $10 million to work with and equates to $400,000 per doctor/nurse.

Those dollars would go to each of the 25 doctor/nurses. That money would allow them to cover start-up costs and pay off a portion of their student loans.

The doctor/nurses would be under a five-year obligation to stay in the city and would be guaranteed a 1,000-person patient list.

The doctor/nurses offices would need to be in accessible locations. Northhills Centre, Sahali Mall, Aberdeen Mall and many other buildings have vacancies.

This process does not have to be long and drawn out. If advertising was done immediately, with a doctor/nurse submission cutoff date of May 31, we would then know how many doctors we would actually be working with.

Any vacant Kamloops offices could be contacted and those in need of a family doctor/nurse and interested in being part of this experiment would have to put up their dollars (in trust) to show goodwill — before offices are leased.

Yes, there will be obstacles and problems, but the overall urgency means we must start something.

Kathy Epp

Knutsford