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Doctors pass on Fort Macleod opportunity

Fort Macleod lost out to Lethbridge in the quest to attract more doctors.
The Chamber of Commerce’s doctor recruitment team hosted a visit by two doctors who, while impressed with the town, decided to set up practice in the city.
“They seemed to really enjoy their visit to Fort Macleod,” Chamber member Martha Ratcliff said. “Unfortunately they decided to go to Lethbridge.”
Ratcliff provided an update on the doctors’ visit Thursday at the Chamber luncheon at the Rural Alberta Business Centre.
“We just toured them all around the town, showed them the schools, showed them the golf course and showed them all the interesting sights,” Ratcliff said.
The doctors were from Cape Town, South Africa.
“They were both very nice and we tried our best,” Ratcliff said. “They really seemed to enjoy their tour.”
Committee members treated the doctors and their wives to lunch and then gave them a tour of the community.
“That’s all we can really do is show these people around,” Chamber president Terry Daniel said. “The only thing we can really do is site visits and try to sell them on the idea that this is a great spot and we’d love to have them here.”
The Chamber formed its doctor recruitment committee earlier this year when the Fort Macleod Family Medical Clinic unexpectedly closed, leaving the town with just two doctors.
That number increased to three when Dr. Anne Uwalaka joined Dr. Steven Beekman and Dr. Tsvetan Parvanov at the Fort Macleod Medical Clinic.
Alberta Health Services recommends a community the size of Fort Macleod to have five physicians.
The committee is working in consultation with Alberta Health Services and the Rural Physician Action Plan.
“We have to keep doing that,” Daniel said. “If that’s only two we have a long way to go. All we can do is keep trying.”

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