Dr. Kielly staying in city to serve as locum physician
Dr. Andrew Kielly will continue to remain a member of Swift Current’s healthcare community, but the popular local physician will be providing his services through a different method. Dr. Kielly has confirmed he is going to be a locum for doctors in Swift Current, a move that will allow another former resident to return and practice in the city.
“I will be staying in Swift Current but I will be doing a different kind of practice from what I have been doing before,” Dr. Kielly confirmed in an interview with the Southwest Booster. “What locum coverage means is that when other doctors are away, or when they are sick, I will be coming in and looking after their patients for them in their absence. What is means is I will be moving around from clinic to clinic within town as I am needed.”
There has been a need for a locum physician because doctors in Swift Current need time off like everyone else.
“It has been needed for a very long time. It is very difficult for doctors to be able to take any length of time off for themselves, either for personal reasons, holidays, illness or whatever, and make sure that their patients are cared for in their absence.”
“Part of that is due just to the number of doctors that we have in town. There is a high need for a physician. The other is that we have a lot of doctors who are from other countries and when they go home to visit they are often away for long periods of time to make their trip worthwhile. It makes it very difficult for their own patients to get the care they need.”
Dr. Kielly points out that a provincial “ locum pool’ of doctors exists, but Swift Current does not qualify to use this service.
“ There is a series of locums that the Saskatchewan Medical Association has hired to provide coverage for doctors when they are away but, unfortunately, Swift Current is too big. We don’t qualify for that, so doctors here have had a really difficult time in getting people to look after their patients while they are away. A locum is something that has been very much needed here. It has been difficult in getting one to do that.”
The decision to leave his family practice was not an easy one for Dr. Kielly and while he thought about doing this for a while now, he also wanted to make sure that he did not abandon his patients.
“It was a very difficult decision and it was very much a balancing decision. Of course I feel a tremendous loyalty to my patients and what prevented me from doing this before, even though the medical community needs this, what prevented me from doing it before was loyalty to my patients in that I wanted to make sure their needs and their care was being provided for.”
Finally everything lined up for Dr. Kielly, as a new doctor wanted to come and practice medicine in Swift Current.
“What happened then that allowed this to happen was that a young physician who is from Swift Current is actually looking to return to Swift Current, wants to come back here and set up practice. This was a perfect opportunity for me to provide this other service.”
Dr. Kielly said his decision was made easier by Dr. Tara Lee’s desire to return to Swift Current.
“ This is a young woman who is from the area and is most likely going to be staying long term in the area, so it provided a good opportunity for me if she agreed, to which she did, if she would look after my patients then my patients would get the continuity of care. They would have somebody who is most likely to be staying here for a long period of time and not having to be looking for a new doctor in a few years. It gave me the