Family practice losing doctors raises concern in rural community - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Family practice losing doctors raises concern in rural community

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For rural communities, there aren't many choices when it comes to where you go for medical care.  Residents in one town say there's concern their health clinic won't ever be the same.
 
The Hannibal Regional Medical Group Family Practice in Shelbina has two doctors who help take care of patients.  However, both of those doctors will be leaving the practice this month.  While hospital officials are trying to replace them, residents aren't happy about the change.

"This is a small community and it's trying to serve probably 10,000 people if you pick up all of the outlining areas.  And basically we're being left with no physician, we're being left with two nurse practitioners and it'll become an urgent care facility," Shelbina resident Vicki Dempsey said.  

Dempsey said she is not happy about losing her doctor.  When she comes to the clinic, she doesn't want to guess who will be treating her.

"I am just more comfortable when I'm talking to a physician that he's understanding all the aspects of some pretty complicated and critical health issues," Dempsey said. 

Officials with Hannibal Regional Medical Group understand the concerns.  Executive Director Tim Polley said the level of care at the Practice will remain the same despite the loss of the current doctors.
   
"But the good thing with this particular clinic is that we have two very qualified nurse practitioners that have been there for a little while that are very comfortable seeing patients.  They're very qualified and there will be some oversight from a physician with their care," Polley said. 

Polley said the Medical Group has every intention of getting a doctor back in Shelbina as soon as possible.

"We reiterated that we're going to provide a physician at some point.  We're trying to find one now and hopefully the message that they heard was that's our plan.  We'll be there for long term and those staying with us will have someone there," Polley said.

Polley said he's unsure when a new physician can come to the clinic.  He said the process could take anywhere from one to several months. 
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