Downtown Victoria medical clinic poised to close by summer

Another medical clinic is set to close its doors, despite efforts to convince Provincial officials to make changes that would save it.

Dr. James Houston owns the Yates and Quadra Medical Clinic which has operated for 18 years, and is the primary downtown walk-in clinic and urgent care centre.

Currently there is a busy walk-in clinic that serves 372 patients a week -- plus 6 fulltime family doctors who help support the business.

But Houston says 2 doctors are retrurning to Ireland and one is retiring -- and the business won't be viable with 3 doctors:

"When these 3 docs leave, that'll increase that number from 372 to 584 approximately a week. Just under 600 patients coming to our doors for their regular primary medical care, and it's possible we that won't be open because we can't financially support the business with 3 docs remaining."

Houston says there is little incentive to be in a family practise in Victoria or Vancouver as they can make up to 40% more working in a hospital, and rural communities attract dotors by paying double -- a powerful lure to graduating medical students with big loans to pay off.

Houston provided a plan to save the clinic to the Province and Island Health months ago, but has had no response. He says unless there is a solution, the clinic will shut down by summer.

Houston says the number of clinics closing is a symptom of a greater problem -- the need for a complete overhaul of the BC Medical system.

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