Whitehorse’s only walk in clinic spared closure

The city's only walk-in clinic has been given a reprieve. The River Valley Medical Clinic would likely have closed at the end of the month, Yukon's health minister Doug Graham confirmed.

The city’s only walk-in clinic has been given a reprieve.

The River Valley Medical Clinic would likely have closed at the end of the month, Yukon’s health minister Doug Graham confirmed.

The clinic’s only doctor – Dr. Shahid Syed – hasn’t completed the required test in time to get his Canadian medical licence. Now he’ll be given a little more than a year to get that done.

Syed was part of a government program designed to bring foreign-trained doctors to the territory.

They were given five years to get the required certification through the Canadian College of Physicians. That timeline was later extended to seven years, Graham said.

Syed’s licence was scheduled to expire Oct. 31, but vocal patients rose up in an effort to stop that from happening.

When the News showed up at the clinic just before closing yesterday, Syed was busy with a patient, but the petition with hundreds of names was there.

“He’s a good doctor. People like him, judging by the number of phone calls and emails I was getting,” Graham said.

The petition praises Syed for his “exemplary service” to the community.

“Dr. Syed has worked tirelessly and has shown great commitment to the people of Whitehorse. He is a dependable and dedicated professional that has nurtured and built a trusting and local following of patients that rely on his wisdom and knowledge,” it says.

“Whitehorse deserves a caring, committed doctor like Dr. Syed. We don’t want to see a different doctor every time we visit a doctor’s office. We want to foster a long-term doctor-patient relationship. The health of our families, children, friends and neighbours depend on this.”

Graham admits that had the clinic closed, the emergency room at Whitehorse General Hospital “simply wouldn’t have been able to handle” the influx of patients looking for non-emergency walk-in care.

The estimated number of patients on file at the clinic is around 6,000.

Graham praised the Yukon Medical Association for working with his department to find a solution.

Graham said his department is working on finding locum doctors to temporarily fill in at the clinic so that Syed can find time to study for the exam.

The next sitting of the national test is scheduled for November 2015, Graham said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

Most Read