DAWSON CREEK -- A medical clinic in Dawson Creek will not be shutting its doors despite rumours circulating about the future of Eljen Medical.

The South Peace Division of Family Practice is looking for a buyer to operate the clinic as a regional primary care hub servicing Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Pouce Coupe, and surrounding rural areas.

Dr. Magda Du Plessis and Kyle Pearce of the Primary Care Network appeared before the Peace River Regional District’s March 7th board meeting to propose a plan for the clinic that would see 19 healthcare positions added to the region, pending the sale.

"We are looking to have a partnership to purchase the building to be operated by a non-profit society to be running the primary care network out of," said Du Plessis.

She added that currently, there are 6,500 patients unattached to a primary care physician in the South Peace, based on the provincial registry.

Pearce said during the meeting that both the City of Dawson Creek and Conuma Resources were approached by Eljen to purchase the practice and cover its operating costs.

The clinic had come up for private sale but no physicians had expressed any interest.

Speaking with CJDC-TV, Dawson Creek Mayor Darcy Dober said the clinic is to go up for sale in June, but is assuring residents that the city would do what is necessary to support healthcare in the region.

“I will do anything I can to help support healthcare because I know how crucial it is to our region,” said Dober.

There are concerns that four doctors could leave Dawson Creek, leaving nearly 4000 residents without a family physician.

Dober says the city has no intention of buying the clinic just to end up closing it.

“We understand healthcare and how important it is for doctors, and we want to work with doctors, and we want to promote why Dawson Creek and why this whole region is an amazing place for doctors,” said Dober.

He adds the city aims to attract more doctors, not deter them, and will be listening to the professionals with the South Peace Division of Family Practice on what steps he and council should take to protect healthcare in the community.

Northern Health says they work closely with the South Peace Division of Family Practice to ensure improvements can be made to patient care.

 “We recognize the vital contribution that has been made by physicians and their team at the Eljen Clinic and will work with our partners to find ways that the Eljen Clinic can continue to be a place where Dawson Creek and South Peace residents can get many of their healthcare needs met,” said Northern Health in a statement.