Stettler’s newest family physician will start accepting patients this month

  • Aug. 5, 2009 6:00 p.m.

Mustafa Eric

Independent editor

Dr. Abrie du Plessis of South Africa, the latest addition to Stettler’s medical corps, has now arrived in Stettler and will soon start to accept patients at the Heartland Medical Clinic.

Keith Ryder, spokesperson for Stettler’s Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, said Dr. du Plessis had arrived on Monday, July 27 and had immediately started the procedures that will enable to practice medicine.

According to Ryder, Dr. du Plessis has already presented his credentials to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edmonton and successfully completed the interview process with the College.

He is currently completing a two-week practicum in Ponoka.

“The practicum is an opportunity for a neutral health care centre to double check procedures and to help new physicians to become acquainted with the procedures followed here,” said Ryder.

“If all goes as planned Dr. du Plessis will be booking appointments at the Heartland Medical Clinic by the middle of August,” said Ryder.

The South African doctor had agreed in principle to come and work in Stettler at the end of his visit to town last November.

According to Ryder, Dr. du Plessis will be joined by his family later.

Stettler’s Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee will bear some of the expenses incurred by Dr. du Plessis’ stay in town until he finds a permanent residence.

In the meantime, Stettler town council adopted a decision to provide a further $20,000 for the use of the committee.

Funded jointly by the town and county of Stettler, the committee has been leading the efforts to secure the presence of adequate human resources for health care in the community.