A post on the Prairie North Health Clinic Facebook page is informing Lloydminster residents of a temporary suspension of walk-in service from Sept. 15 to Oct. 7.
MyLloydminsterNow has confirmed that the development is accurate as a result of a shortage in doctors and registered nursing staff. The clinic will not be seeing patients who do not have a doctor at the facility during the three-week period. No officials at the clinic were available for further comment.
Staff at the Border City Clinic also refrained from commenting on what the loss of the official walk-in service would mean to residents.
Long-time Lloydminster medic Dr. Raf Sayeed says PNHC has specific hours from 2-5 p.m., but his patients indicate that residents still have to book to be attended as a walk-in patient.
Sayeed thinks the Lloydminster area is short seven doctors and the shortage is compounded as four physicians recently left the community.
“So we are a minimum of seven family practitioners short in Lloydminster. It could be more. But this community can handle seven family practitioners very easily.”
Dr. Sayeed clarified that one doctor has transitioned to work at the ER at the hospital.
His prognosis over the three-week slowdown at the official walk-in clinic is that the ER at the hospital will be tested.
“Emergency will be over-stressed. They are already stressed because of the shortage of physicians now they will be more stressed and some patients of course will be going to Maidstone and Vermilion which they are already doing.”
Sayeed says some people are prepared to travel as far away as Turtleford to seek treatment.
MyLloydminsterNow has reached out to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for further comment on the temporary changes being enacted at the walk-in clinic due to staffing challenges.