Phones heat up as area residents try to get through to doctor’s office
An intake of 100 new patients for the office of family physician Dr. Pejman Nourian was completed in about 90 minutes today, Jan. 31.
© File photo
Dr. Pejman Nourian
Nourian, who opened his Digby practice in November, already had one intake of 100 patients, as well as a number the former patient list of Dr. Vladimir Lafkovici.
The intake of patients by phone today started at 1 p.m. and was finished by 2:30 p.m., leaving many frustrated at not being able to get through.
Only one phone line was available and a number of people reported their calls were hung up on without being answered.
South West Health has rejected calls for a different signup system, saying the phone calls have shown to be fairest.
On Dec. 12, a similar two-hour window was set aside for calls, but the 100 patient mark was reached in the first hour.
A spokesperson for South West Health said the man answering the office phone asked just for name, phone number, MSI number, and whether anyone else in family needing doctor.
Another 100-patient intake will likely be held in about a month, said the spokesperson, Fraser Mooney.
How many hundreds of people just wasted there time hitting redial for a hour an a half. its a you no what system... Jimmy Gates, Digby County Courier Facebook page
As well, he said, the next doctor expected to begin a practice in Digby should be here by summer, perhaps as early as May. Two or three other family doctors are expected to follow.
Dr. Nourian holds a defined license with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. Dr. John Black will be his physician mentor and supervisor, and Dr. Alenia Kysela, district chief of staff with South West Health, will be his sponsor.
South West Health expects that Dr. Nourian will be able to accept a maximum of 1,000 patients over time.
Announcements of further patient intakes will be made in The Courier and will be posted on the South West Health website www.swndha.nshealth.ca