Additional details on Neepawa's new doctor


By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

There’s good news for Neepawa area residents without a family doctor. On Sept. 8, Dr. Nichelle Desilets will begin taking patients at the Beautiful Plains Community Clinic. Unlike other physicians who have moved to the area and taken over the practices of departing doctors, Dr. Desilets will be starting with no established patient list.

Dr. Desilets, who is from Elie, will be joining the five other doctors at the community clinic. The town’s existing doctors see between 1,500 and 2,000 patients and long-time Neepawa physician Dr. George Ong explains that their lists are full. The addition of another doctor is welcome news for both area residents and the town’s existing physicians said Ong.

Dr. Desilets also bring some surgical skills to the community, having just finished a year of extra training at the University of Saskatchewan.  The Enhanced Surgical Skills program provides  enhanced general surgical and obstetrical skills to a family physician or other non-surgery physicians. Dr. Ong explained that while Dr. Desilets isn’t a fully trained, specialist surgeon, she will be able to do some procedures and minor surgeries.

In addition to Dr. Desilets, a locum, or temporary, doctor will be working out of the clinic for four to five weeks, starting in August. 

With Dr. Desilets, there will seven physicians practicing in the community but the recruitment work isn’t done. Dr. Ong says that they need between eight and nine physicians to best serve the area. With that in mind, the Neepawa medical recruitment committee continues its recruitment efforts. He explainsedthat ongoing activities include working with third year medical students, family practice residents and students on electives. Dr. Ong hopes that they will be able to add another couple of doctors within the next five years.  “Recruitment never ends, it can’t stop,” he said.