A local doctor and health care advocate is moving his practice from the downtown core to the Osoyoos Indian Band office in Oliver.
After nine years at the Bridgeside Medical Clinic, Dr. Peter Entwistle began practicing at the Health Centre in the NK’Mip Resource Centre at the start of this week. With a bigger office and more resources, he is now able to spend more time focusing on his areas of expertise while delegating other procedures amongst his new health care team.
Following him to the new location will be nurse Sheri-Anne Gagne, who is “going to be doing a lot of things to help be able to provide the model of care I’ve been trying to deliver.”
Leaving behind his current office is a “heartbreak,” but the new role is a big step forward in his career that will benefit the whole community.
“The ability to work with nurses and provide more effective health care is an opportunity I couldn’t not take,” he said. “There is no financial benefit to this – this is just an opportunity to provide better care – something I’ve been rattling on about.”
Many readers may remember Entwistle rattling on about health care when he ran for MLA as an independent in 2017, making the issue central to his platform.
“When I stood for election I said that health care could be better.”
Despite not getting elected, he still believes he can improve the system – by delivering a “primary health care model” with a more integrated health care team at the OIB Health Centre; he can demonstrate a more modern approach, which he says is common in most parts of Europe.
“North America has maybe taken a while to catch up.”
• Read more: Dr. Entwistle says all politics is about health
Entwistle said the new approach has been adopted province-wide as well.
“And hopefully later this is going to happen in Oliver and Osoyoos. But I guess I’m impatient and I want to move things along.”
Aside from switching locations by about one kilometre to the OIB, none of Entwistle’s 800 patients will be affected.
“One of the big advantages is looking at breaking down some of the barriers between the different communities.”
Entwistle isn’t completely new to the OIB community. Before moving his practice on April 1, he was delivering healthcare, along with other colleagues, twice a week at the NK’Mip Resource Centre through the walk-in clinic.
He will also continue his work in the ER at South Okanagan General Hospital, which chronically has “real difficulties” with staffing.
And he won’t be diverting any of his energy away from helping those suffering from severe addiction.
“At present I’m the only addictions doctor in Oliver and Osoyoos – it’s a large part of my work and I need to continue doing that.”