Port McNeill was named after William McNeill, a Boston explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Its history was largely driven by the forestry industry. Port McNeill was the first village in Canada to be proclaimed as a town after the Canadian Charter of Rights was repatriated.
The town of Port McNeill is located on the Johnstone Strait and is a logging hub for northern Vancouver Island. Beautiful scenery and a relaxed lifestyle characterize this coastal community, which has become a popular destination for eco-tourists. Port McNeill is home to a lively arts community and with its mild climate, offers a wide range of year-round outdoor recreational activities, including sport fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving and wildlife viewing.
The summer months, May through September, are considerably drier than the winter. Temperatures average around 17.4 degrees Celsius in July and August, with hot sunny days and some cooler days as well. Rarely does the temperature fall below zero degrees Celsius in the winter.
Forestry, eco-tourism, outdoor recreation
Town Population: 2,505 (BC Stats, 2011 Census)
Patient Catchment: 11,919 (LHA #84 – Vancouver Is. N., BC Stats 2009)
Ages of Population: 0-17: 22.8% 18-24: 10.5% 25-64: 55.7% 65+: 11.1% (BC Stats, 2010 Figures)
Health Administrative Information
Health Authority: Island Health
Health Service Delivery Area: North Vancouver Island
Regional District: Mount Waddington
Rural Designation: RSA community
RRP Designation: A
RRP Points: 28.6
Practitioners + Clinic information
General Practitioners: 2 (www.cpsbc.ca)
Clinic Port McNeill Clinic Box 14, 2161 McNeill Road Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-3377
Port McNeill and District Hospital 2760 Kingcome Place Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 | F: 250 956-4823
The small 10-bed hospital is usually full. The nursing staff is quite friendly, and the lab techs and x-ray are great to work with. Two of the doctors do deliveries but not very many and usually only multips. There is an OR but it has not been used in years. The ER has 5 beds and 1 trauma room. The occasional trauma occurs up in the logging camp. You will do call at least once a week and one weekend per month. You are backed up by a physician while on call, but the expectation is to work pretty independently. Campbell River provides excellent specialist backup, and it is easy to transfer people if necessary, or you can just phone the specialists to discuss the case and management. You will follow whomever you admit to the hospital.
You really need to spend at least 3 months or more in Port McNeill to really appreciate it.
Acute Care Beds: 11
Major Medical Centre: Transfer to Nanaimo (346 km)
This community has an Emergency Room with limited services. CTAS Level I and II cases are transferred immediately. There is no OR back up in this community. Emergency deliveries are performed at this facility, while low-risk obstetrical services are provided at the Mt. Waddington site.
This ER is open 24/7. There is a trauma room at this hospital.
Number of Visits per Year: 5,052 (2009/2010 Statistics: VIHA)
Number of Emergency Care Beds: 5
Travel Distance to Transfer Hospital: Nanaimo (346 km)
Hospital CAEP and CTAS
CTAS Level CTAS Level III (Urgent) CTAS Level IV (Less Urgent) CTAS Level V (Non Urgent)
There are anaesthesia services available in this community
There are surgical services available in this community, including minor procedures.
This community offers obstetric services.
Port McNeill and District Hospital Lab Box 790, 2750 Kingcome Place Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 ext. 66228 | F: 250 956-4423 Hrs: Mon-Sun 8:30 am - 9:30 am, 1 pm - 2 pm
This community has a blood bank.
X-Ray Port McNeill and District Hospital Diagnostics Box 790, 2750 Kingcome Place Port MacNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 ext. 66228 | F: 250 956-4423 Hrs: Mon-Sun 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
There are CT imaging services in this community.
Mammography services provided by BC Cancer Agency twice a year. See www.bccancer.bc.ca for details.
BC Ambulance Service provides coverage to this community, including Air Ambulance services.
Peoples Drug Mart #93 Box 700, 1584 Broughton Blvd Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-3126 | F: 250 956-4245
We Care Comox Valley TFP: 1 888 334-8531 | TFF: 1 888 334-8571
Outpatient Nutritional Services Port McNeill and District Hospital Box 790, 2750 Kingcome Place Port MacNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 | F: 250 956-4823
Diabetic Nurse Educator
Diabetes Education Services Port McNeill and District Hospital Box 790, 2750 Kingcome Place Port MacNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 | F: 250 956-4823
Mental Health and Addictions
Mental Health & Addiction Services Port McNeill and District Hospital Box 548, 2750 Kingcome Place Port MacNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 | F: 250 956-4823 In-community Youth & Family Addiction Services Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 230-3513 | P: 24 Hr Crisis Line 250 949-6033
Port McNeill Health Unit 1775 Grenville Street Port McNeill, BC, VON 2R0 P: 250 956-4711 | F: 250 949-3119
Port McNeill Health Unit 1775 Grenville Street Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4711 Hrs: Wed 9 am - 4 pm. Call for appointment
Services: STI testing and treatment, STI counselling, HIV counselling and testing.
Promising Babies Pregnancy Outreach Program North Island Community Services Box 1028 Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-3134 | F: 250 956-4214 Port McNeill Mental Health and Addiction Services Box 548, 2750 Kingcome Place Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-4461 | F: 250 956-3653
Practice Site Information
Port McNeill Clinic Box 14, 2161 McNeill Road Port McNeill, BC, V0N 2R0 P: 250 956-3377 Physician Site Coordinator(s) Dr. Prean Armogam Office Administrator Susan Bell Practical Nurse Julie Carlson
Clinic starts at 10:30 until 13:00 and afternoon at 14:00 until 17:00. You will usually be quite busy and work independently. You write your own prescriptions, no co-signing needed except for Narcotic triplicates. Booking is at every 30 minutes initially but will eventually be in every 15 minutes.
The logging industry is mostly Caucasian, while the surrounding communities are mainly First Nations. You will be participating with the Clinic’s visits to the surrounding communities by helicopter to Rivers Inlet, Zeballos, Sointula and Woss.
We run a full service rural family practice including office, 8 outreach clinics reached by air or sea, and a fairly busy emergency department. We practice on a collaborative basis with an extended role nurse in the clinic, close liaison with mental health and community care nurses, as well as an outreach team to remote communities.
Port McNeill has a generally young population with about 10% of people over the age of 65. About 20% of work is First Nations care, mostly through the remote outreach community clinics.
We run a low risk, low volume obstetrical service for the North Island and we are the regional center for intermediate psychiatric care. We have a full complement of specialists and ready telephone back up. Teleradiography allows for on-demand x-ray interpretation from Campbell River. Surgical interventions are limited to those requiring local or regional anesthesia or procedural sedation.
We run the North Island Methadone program and have interests in counseling, CBT, hyperbaric and aviation medicine. Community Services include Diabetic Nurse Educator, Community Care Nurses and Support Workers, Dietitic Consultants. Mental Health Counsellors, Physiotherapists and 24/365 Primary Care Paramedic (Level II) BC Ambulance Service.
On-Call Schedule 1 day in 5; 1 weekend in 5
Training Site Information
Medical Student Training: Yes
Medical Student: UBC, Out of Province
Family Practice Resident Site: Yes
Medical Resident: UBC
Students & Residents Perspectives
On the Community
“Great community with incredibly friendly people”. “The town itself is quite quiet, but has an interesting dynamic because of recent forestry operations closure and nearby First Nations communities”.
On the Experience
“Lots of time in the ER as well as numerous visits to medical outposts, some of which require a helicopter flight to access”. “Port McNeill provides a genuine rural experience. The doctors are friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.” “Very wide range of activities and opportunities to work with many different preceptors. A lot of opportunities to do hands-on activity.”
“No surgical exposure.”
Practice per Day: 120
Resident per Day: 15 – 20
Personnel in Office: Nurses, Mental Health Worker
Does your office have a surgical suite? No
Payment Modality: Fee-for-service
Do you use a consistent charting system in your practice? Yes
Is there a problem list on each chart? Yes
Is there space for the resident to have an office an an examination room? Yes
Technology: Billing Email Internet Medline
Hospital Rounds: Yes. 9:00 am to 9:15am daily rounds with all doctors, duty hospital nurses, mental health, community care, physiotherapists, diabetic nurse, as required.
CME Teleconferences: Yes, Rural FP Teleconferences
Videoconferences: Yes, There are opportunities for videoconferences, VIHA Videoconference sessions
Conferences: Yes, there are opportunities for conferences.
Journal Clubs/Reading: Yes, there are opportunities for journal clubs/reading – monthly.
Small Group Learning: Yes, there are opportunities for Small Group Learning – twice weekly seminars
Resident Interview/Audit: Yes, there are opportunities for a Resident Interview/Audit: video audit, in-room audit, chart reviews
Dr. David Whittaker
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