Ponoka physician leaving due to provincial cuts

Dr. Paras Satija will be closing his practice at the end of August, plans to leave Alberta

The Battle River Medical Clinic announced in a press release May 17 that it is losing one of its newest physicians, due to ongoing tensions with the province regarding funding and the terminated master agreement.

Dr. Paras Satija will be closing his practice at the end of August. He will be ‘locuming’ (filling in) at the Ponoka hospital this fall until he finds a community in another province to move to.

“This decision was not easy and, unfortunately, many of the government’s cuts and behaviours towards physicians in Alberta influenced that decision,” said Satija in the release.

“I am a rural family physician because I strongly believe in the importance of community, building relationships, and taking care of each other. The provincial government’s attack on health care and its leadership — through both actions and ideology — has made it untenable for me to continue to live and work in Alberta.”

The provincial government announced on March 17 that it is cancelling the changes planned for physicians’ payments for complex modifiers that were to take effect on March 31.

At the time, Dr. Christine Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), stated the AMA appreciated the government’s concession but there was still more work to be done.

READ MORE: UCP government cancels changes to complex modifiers

Alberta physicians remained concerned, issuing an open letter to Minister of Health Tyler Shandro and Premier Jason Kenney, stating: “The proposed changes that will be initiated April 1, 2020 are detrimental to our patients and the health care system.

“Now is not the time to restructure the system that we understand and intrinsically know how to operate.”

“Dr. Satija decided that the cuts to rural health care along with the lack of respect the provincial government showed in pushing through these cuts were not conducive towards his practice of medicine,” said Dr. Gregory Sawisky, a physician with the clinic.

“We fully support Dr. Satija’s decision to do what he feels is the right choice for him and his practice of medicine.”

Other communities that are losing physicians include Rimbey, Canmore and Ft. McMurray, according to Sawisky.

READ MORE: Rimbey clinic potentially losing two doctors after COVID-19 pandemic

While there are no physicians accepting new patients at this time, patients of Dr. Satija will be able to continue their care with the Battle River Medical Clinic through the Daily Access Clinic.

READ MORE: MLA COLUMN : Stable funding for healthcare

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held its AGM on Oct. 19 at the Ponoka Legion. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
De-listing Alberta parks creates ‘risk’ for coal mining: CPAWS

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society speaks at JJ Collett AGM

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

(File photo)
Ponoka’s seen rise in relationship ‘disharmony,’ domestic violence during COVID-19

While there has been an increase in files, not all have required charges to be laid

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier tests negative for COVID-19 but will isolate for a week

Kenney said he will isolate until Oct. 29 and, in the meantime, work from home

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Most Read