Arnaud de la Salle
Arnaud de la Salle
The Pontiac Journal recently spoke with one of the Pontiac’s new doctors, Dr. Ulrich Ifoko, who began practicing in the area last December; originally from Congo, he moved to Canada in 2007 to finish his medical residency. Dr. Ifoko wanted to go to school in Canada because the programming was available in French and he considered the Montreal area an ideal place to raise a family. With family medicine experience obtained in Congo and France, he also wanted to gain experience in a hospital emergency
Why the Pontiac?
For Dr. Ifoko, the Pontiac offered everything he was looking for in terms of hospital medicine. He fell in love with the region when he first visited during his residency. “In the Pontiac, you can enjoy a variety of activities in every season,” he said.
He currently works in the emergency department at the Pontiac Community Hospital, in Shawville, and operates a clinic at the CLSC in Mansfield. Dr. Ifoko envisions a future here in the Pontiac because he believes practicing
medicine in a rural setting allows physicians to gain knowledge in various fields; he intends to remain in the Pontiac.
However, Dr. Ifoko expressed concerns about the reforms that are being imposed on the local health system, citing complications that a centralized management system
will place on individual health facilities in terms
of recruitment and the
effective management of healthcare personnel.
Regarding the lack of family physicians, Dr. Ifoko believes the quota system proposed by the government, which will require family doctors to have a certain number of patients, won’t be an effective
measure; it will prevent doctors from working in the hospital emergency departments in the name of serving their patients.
Dr. Ifoko believes differentiating between patients who rarely visit their family doctor and those who require frequent visits is a possible answer. “We could set up a clinic offering annual visits to those in good health, which would free up a lot space for
family physicians to follow patients who require repeated follow-ups,” he added.
“There are solutions that can be found in consultations, but dialogue is required between the government and the medical world. Unfortunately, in the present state of things, the government works alone without consulting us. It’s a shame,” he concluded.