NORTHERN Health has hired three new resident psychiatrists to work in the Northwest, filling a gap in a much needed service. Currently there isn’t a psychiatrist working in Smithers and only one in Terrace.
Dr. Rafael Mayone is coming from Ireland and will be working in Terrace.
Dr. Rosemary Abu is also moving from Ireland and will be stationed in Smithers in the next month or so.
Northern Health has been actively recruiting psychiatrists for sometime now.
“This is fantastic news for the Northwest,” said director of specialized services in the north Clare Cooper. “It has been a long time since Smithers has had a resident psychiatrist so this is wonderful news for that community.”
Dr. Brett Broster is also one of the new hires and is currently working in Prince Rupert and has been providing outreach to patients in Smithers for the past couple of months.
“Partially up here in the North, there is a lot of need for mental health services because there has been a lengthy history of factors that can lead to higher incidences of psychology difficulties,” Dr. Broster said.
“People who need psychiatric services were waiting months, it wasn’t uncommon for a six to 12 month waitlist. It is an extremely hard wait time if you are suffering depression, or anxiety or are hearing voices. It is a lot of suffering for patients and their families.”
Cooper added the new psychiatrists from Ireland will also serve other smaller communities surrounding Smithers and Terrace, offering a more timely access to psychiatry care.
“These additions will significantly compliment and support the primary care and improve access to the residents of the Northwest,” she said.