NORTH BEND — The North Bend Veterans Assistance Clinic, which provides health care services to more than 3,000 veterans in Coos County, is currently down to only one doctor.
According to the clinic, having a lack of providers has taken its toll most noticeably in its ability to provide care for routine visitors.
“Staff is working very hard to ensure all the more critical care needs are met appropriately and timely. This is being accomplished through the assistance of covering providers, both onsite and remotely and with community care partnership,” Roseburg VA Health Care system’s public affairs officer Shanon Goodwin said.
In the past six months, the clinic has seen four doctors move on to other practices, one leaving in February, one in May, another in July, and one in August.
“Turn-over in providers in a clinic is always unfortunate and as an integrated healthcare system we have providers who can cover the current veterans to ensure their urgent needs are met,” Goodwin said.
Roseburg VA Health Care Systems does have plans to bring in new providers to the North Bend area to address the need.
The one doctor who is currently working at the North Bend clinic will be there through August and possibly a bit longer if needed. One new provider is set to start on Aug. 13. Another doctor is scheduled to start in late August and going to work with the clinic for three months. A third provider will be brought in sometime in September.
“We will have a total of three primary care provider teams at our North Bend clinic, with a fourth provider as Clinic Practice Manager and gap provider for the coast. Providers come from all over the United States. Ideally, we would like to hire local providers who have a connection with our coastal communities,” Goodwin said.
In the 2017 fiscal year, the North Bend VA Clinic served the medical needs 3,337 veterans. To give more context to the clinics workload with those veterans there were 16,970 outpatient visits to the clinic during the 2017 fiscal year. As of June the clinic has recorded 11,078 outpatient visits for its 2018 fiscal year.