Shuttered Kamloops maternity clinic reopening after new deal struck with province

Maternity clinic reopening

The Tournament Capital’s largest maternity clinic will reopen next week following a three-month closure.

The Thompson Region Family Obstetrics clinic, which delivers about 60 of the 100 babies born each month at Royal Inland Hospital, stopped accepting new patients in February due to a doctor shortage.

Dr. Shaun Davis, who has been with the clinic for five years, said TRFO doctors met on Wednesday night and agreed they have the numbers to reopen. That meeting followed an agreement in principle earlier on Wednesday with B.C.'s Ministry of Health on a new funding model for the clinic.

“We’ve accumulated enough locum interest in the last couple of weeks to cover us at least through to December,” Davis told Castanet Kamloops.

“We haven’t scheduled it out past there, but with all the locums we’ve had coming and agreeing to come back, we just feel that we’re in a place where we can start covering our service fully.”

Davis said he expects new patients sometime next week.

“It’s great for us and it’s great for the community,” he said.

“We’re quite optimistic that over the next six months to a year, hopefully one of these long-term locums will turn into permanent staff for us.”

Davis called the new TRFO funding model "a complete shift" that will better compensate physicians for their work with the clinic. He said the deal has not yet been signed.

Davis said it will take some time to get the clinic back up to speed.

“It’s not going to be business as usual for a while,” he said.

“We still have a huge backlog of patients, so we’re working with Interior Health on how to manage that backlog.”

Davis specifically mentioned a new midwifery clinic announced earlier this week for Royal Inland Hospital.

“That’s going to help with a lot of our backlogs, but there are still details to be worked on in terms of how that actually works and how we get the best care for our patients,” he said.

“But it does mean there will be much quicker access for patients in Kamloops to get into maternity care.”

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