Massawippi Valley Health Centre doctor leaving at the end of the year

By Matthew McCully

The Massawippi Valley Health Centre (CSVM), a community-owned health cooperative in Ayer’s Cliff, will be down a doctor at the end of 2020.
In recent weeks Dr. Genevieve Roy-Proulx informed the health centre that at the end of the year she will no longer practice as a family doctor. She intends to reorient her medical practice towards a nutritional approach, the CSVM explained.
“It’s not easy replacing a full-time family physician,” said Henry Khouri, president or the CSVM.
According to Khouri, around half of Dr. Roy-Proulx’s 500-plus patient load are CSVM members.
The doctor will continue to practice until the end of the year and make sure prescriptions for her patients are up to date. After that, around 250 CSVM members will be on the hunt for a new family doctor. “They will have to take care of that on their own and register on orphan list,” Khouri explained. “In Quebec it’s around 300 days of wait, maybe longer.”
In the meantime, Khouri said, there are other physicians and professionals on staff to help meet members’ needs.
It’s not as easy as putting up a job posting to find a replacement for Dr. Roy-Proulx, Khouri explained.
Quebec has the PREM system to contend with.
In an effort to ensure fair distribution of medical professionals across the province, the government controls where doctors can practice by limiting the number of PREMs, or permits, to practice in a given region.
For the year 2020, 13 PREMS were available in the Estrie region for doctors wishing to practice family medicine. Of those, one was allotted to the Memphremagog RLS (réseau local de services), the territory in which the CSVM sits.
“We’re looking at all options,” Khouri said, including the possibility of a nurse practitioner.
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