Melfort doctor new head of Saskatchewan Medical Association

The Saskatchewan Medical Association has a new president.

Dr. Eben Strydom of Melfort was named to the position on Friday.

As a family physician in Melfort, Dr. Strydom said rural medicine is one of his priorities.

“Vulnerabilities in rural health care have been magnified by the pandemic. Every region is different, but they all require a sufficient cohort of physicians to cover clinical work, maintain an ER and have a reasonable call schedule so that they don’t burn out.” Strydom said in a release. “Access to a family physician is a huge concern for residents of rural Saskatchewan. Recruiting and retaining physicians to rural communities is an issue across Canada, but the provincial government could make rural practice more attractive through compensation and support services. Our country doctors don’t have to feel isolated or abandoned.”

When it comes to the pandemic, Strydom says it continues to be a challenge for Saskatchewan’s physicians.

“Although more people are becoming vaccinated, the pandemic threatens to strain the health-care system to its limits,” Strydom  said. “Physicians and health-care workers need resources and supports in place to enable them to do their jobs, for their own safety, the safety of their staff and patients, and the viability of the health system. We can’t let our guard down now. Hopefully by the end of my term the province is in a new place, with a resumption of more normal activities. We all want that. I do too.”

He becomes the 55th president of the SMA and succeeds Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, a Regina family physician.

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