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New Doctor Meets Temporary Need at Open Health

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Dr Wood Crop
Dr. Henry Wood, who is temporarily serving at Open Health Niverville.

A new doctor has joined the Open Health Niverville team to provide same-day/next-day care. Dr. Henry Wood will serve the clinic in a temporary capacity to provide these services while three doctors are away on maternity leave.

Amidst a province-wide shortage of family doctors, Open Health Niverville has confirmed that the new doctor helps to meet only some of the ongoing needs in Niverville and the surrounding area.

“There is a high demand for same-day care, as there are still many people without a family doctor and limited walk-in care within close proximity,” says Kristen Fyfe, business manager at Open Health. “We are working at doctor recruitment and hope we can offer expanded services in the near future.”

Dr. Wood’s temporary arrangement means he will not be taking on patients of his own.

“Dr. Wood is providing temporary family medicine coverage at our clinic with plans to stay until at least the end of February,” Fyfe adds. “For that reason, he is unable to accept a patient panel of his own. His role at this time is to help fill a void while some of our other doctors are away on maternity leave, but we also have a high need for same-day care in general.”

While same-day or next-day appointment slots are available to anyone, the clinic also reminds patients that it is not a walk-in clinic and that patients still need to make an appointment.

“Same-day/next-day care is similar to walk-in care,” says Fyfe. “However, we don’t want to confuse the messaging, as you still need to call in for an appointment. We are not able to accommodate patients walking up for an appointment as we are continuing to work at COVID-19 procedures. We continue to emphasize, however, that if you have cold/flu symptoms or you are a close contact to a COVID-19 case, you can speak to a doctor through a virtual or phone appointment first and the practitioner can determine whether an in-person visit is required.”

Dr. Wood’s position was secured with the help of Southern Health-Santé Sud’s network of recruitment efforts.

“The clinic has a long-standing working relationship with Southern Health-Santé Sud and they work alongside us and many other clinics in the region with the recruitment of doctors. We are happy that Dr. Wood’s connection to the clinic was made in partnership with both Dr. Wood and SH-SS,” adds Fyfe.

Open Health says that one of the three doctors on maternity leave is confirmed to be returning part-time in January.

Getting to Know Dr. Wood

Originally from British Columbia, Dr. Wood moved to Winnipeg in the summer of 2021. He has a specialty in Family Medicine and is referred to as a general practitioner.

“This includes everything across the breadth of medicine from cradle to grave, which is why I love my job so much,” says Dr. Wood, who has been enjoying the opportunity to get to know this community and its friendly people. “The people here have made me excited to work in this community. I’ve enjoyed meeting the patients and the staff at the clinic… It’s great to work with such a multidisciplinary team including the other physicians, nurses, front staff, and the Southern Health team.”

Being from B.C., Dr. Wood has a love of rock-climbing and encourages anyone interested in the unique sport to check it out.

“I have recently been getting into rock-climbing!” he says. “It’s a great sport, as rock-climbers are some of the most friendly people you’ll meet, not to mention it’s a great form of exercise.”

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