Kamloops welcoming two new doctors to family practice

By Chad Klassen
April 27, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — A month after closing its walk-in clinic, the Norkam Healthcare Centre is getting a boost. The Ministry of Health has approved the centre as the recipient of two new Practice Ready Assessment BC physicians, who are coming to the city from the Middle East.

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The first is Dr. Laila Ayoub, who has only been in kamloops for three weeks. She's getting herself ready to see patients starting on Monday. 

"I am so lucky because I have been chosen to be here in Kamloops," she said. "Kamloops is a very nice place, very nice weather, nice people. I'm also lucky to have the Norkam Healthcare Centre, which I feel that it will match my skills and experience."

Dr. Ayoub comes from Jordan, where she worked as a family physician. She had to pass four exams to qualify to come to Canada through the Practice Ready Assessment BC program. 

"I was searching for this the last three years until they opened the door for us to apply," she noted. 

There is a second doctor from Egypt is arriving to practice in the middle of May, and over the next month the clinic will slowly match patients with these new doctors. 

"Our first priority was honouring the patients that these position are bringing with them to the family practice," said manager of Norkam Healthcare Centre Patti Aldrich. "They have patients they've already signed up to care for. We also had a doctor here that retired one year ago, and it was always our promise to them that if we received new doctors in our clinic, we would take care of them."

While spaces may be available for the general public, the clinic is taking care of those people first. 

Dr. Ayoub is the first practice ready doctor to be placed in Kamloops --- professionals that are usually located to rural communities. But with a severe doctor shortage, the Ministry of Health placed her and a second doctor here. She says these crisis health situations are some of the reasons she became a doctor.

"I can't tell you how much we fight for this," she said. "We know that we can help the people here, and you know we have a lot of experience that can have benefits for the patients." 

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