Shawna Walker, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Primary Health Care Society, stands with Dr. Colin Tamboline, who is retiring next week. Fortunately, a new doctor will replace him. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Retiring Sidney doctor finds rare replacement

Dr. Ruth Cadon from Ireland is on her way

Dr. Colin Tamboline at the Peninsula Medical Clinic is retiring soon, but thankfully his patients will not be left in the lurch.

Dr. Ruth Caden will be taking over soon; she just has to fly in from Ireland first.

Shawna Walker, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Primary Health Care Society, said it took about nine months to actually bring Caden over, which according to Walker is comparatively short. Walker considers the clinic lucky that they had anyone to take over the practice at all.

“What we’ve seen in our own community is that doctors time out. They keep extending their working life. They don’t want to abandon their patients but eventually, there are doctors within Saanich Peninsula that have just had to say, ‘I’m so sorry; I have to go.’”

Walker used a program called Health Match to determine whether an international graduate like Caden could transfer her qualifications. A letter of need was issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. which allowed her to immigrate.

Walker is thankful that 1,500 to 2,000 patients will still have a doctor, but the Peninsula Medical Clinic is still looking to add doctors to their ranks.

She hopes that the team-based model at the Peninsula Medical Clinic will be attractive to new doctors because the administrative hassle of starting a new business is already done for them, leaving them to care for their patients.

“You’re able to start a practice with the mentorship and the camaraderie of a team around you.

“I think that sounds more appealing in a lot of cases than being isolated.”

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