The number of surgeons in Fort Frances doubled Jan. 1 after Dr. Barry Anderson joined as the second general surgeon here—teaming up alongside Dr. J.A. Spencer.
His arrival means the district no longer will be left without a surgeon should one of them be out of town.
Dr. Anderson had confirmed his intent to start practising here this month in a letter sent to Dr. Spencer last June. Since then, he’s been busy wrapping up his medical practice at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre and the Manitoba Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation.
The 48-year-old physician earned his medical doctor degree from the University of Manitoba in 1975 and became a qualified surgeon in 1980. By 1983, he had completed formal training in surgical oncology (hip, neck, and breast).
Oncology is the study and treatment of tumors.
Dr. Anderson said the fact he is in Fort Frances is a direct result of the Northwestern Ontario Regional Surgery Network, which came into effect July 1 of last year.
It allows for surgeons in Fort Frances, Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, and Atikokan to receive an annual salary from the Ministry of Health rather than the former fee-for-service.
Dr. Anderson is one of five regional surgeons assigned to the network, of which Dr. Spencer is the chief surgeon.
“I am here because of this initiative,” said Dr. Anderson from the Fort Frances Clinic yesterday.
“[The network] will help provide stability in terms of having continuous coverage of surgical services,” he noted. “And it will also help stabilize [medical] funding and resources issues.”