The Kensington Medical Centre is getting a new doctor and nursing staff have been bumped up to full-time hours.
Mayor Rowan Caseley announced the changes on Jan. 13 at a town council meeting.
In a supplementary report, Caseley announced that Dr. Ken White will be joining the medical centre in early March. The current doctor, Peter McKean, is planning to retire in the coming months.
Additionally, Caseley sent a note to Health Minister James Alyward and Economic Development Minister Matthew MacKay in September to draw their attention to how important the Kensington Medical Centre is to the town and surrounding areas.
Caseley’s letter said the town can accommodate more than two doctors and wants to not only maintain the current level of service, but to encourage the province to consider adding more services to the centre.
“I stressed the value to the area and quality of the staff and facility available to this wider community,” said Caseley.
As a result of these efforts, Caseley was able to meet with White in late-2019 to show him around the town and the medical centre.
White, who is from South Africa and attended medical school in New Zealand, will be required to work under another doctor for a period of time, and McKean has stepped up to the task.
Caseley seemed pleased to add that White’s wife was also a doctor, but that her qualifications needed to meet additional requirements before she can practice in Canada.
“We can only hope that she may want to upgrade as required and start her practice here in the future,” said the mayor.
Additionally, the nurse practitioner and the registered nurse currently at the centre will be promoted from part-time hours to full-time staff.
“So, another big plus to the Kensington Medical Centre and a great benefit to Kensington and area,” said Caseley.
Dr. Christine MacNearney has announced retirement plans, but there is no timeline yet for her departure. She has reduced working hours to three days per week.
The mayor hopes her part-time clinic means MacNearney will stay for a while yet and that the centre continues to grow to meet the needs of the developing community.