Here is the nursing station at Tatla Lake.
The clinic is on the left, the nurse’s accommodation on the right.
It used to be that, if I wanted to go to a doctor, I would have to drive at least three hours each way to either Williams Lake or Bella Coola. It’s a long time since I’ve been to one. My registered practitioner is at Bella Coola but the man I used to talk to has retired and if I was to go down there now, I would be seen by a locum who has flown up from Vancouver for a few weeks. If I went to Williams Lake I would have to go to the hospital. I would not be able to make an appointment, unless it was for a specific test, but would simply have to wait for interminable hours in Emergency.
Now, we have a doctor once a week at Tatla Lake. He is “retired” and lives south of Tatla, but he comes up on Wednesdays, ostensibly for 8 hours, but 12-hour days are by no means unknown. He is assisted by a nurse and a receptionist.
I went to him at the beginning of March because of recurring stomach problems, which, fortunately, turned out not to be serious and which have cleared up now. But at the time I did not feel at all well and as the symptoms were unusual for me I was concerned. I had not met the man before, and was greatly impressed with his straight-forward efficiency. We are extremely lucky to have such a skilled and willing doctor less than an hour’s drive away. But as a friend said, now we have an MD, we get sick. And I suppose it’s true: I would probably not have bothered to visit a doctor if I had been faced with a 7-hour round trip to get to one!