Dr. Kielly stay­ing in city to serve as locum physi­cian

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - Ge­orge Bowditch

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

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