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Farewell, dear doctor

May 22nd,2024 | Valley Voices

I had had forewarning, but now the date is set. By mid-summer, Dr. Curtis Folkerson will have retired and will no longer be my family physician – my GP.

Maureen and I moved to the Hills in 1992 in preparation for retirement years. Obtaining a family doctor is crucial at any age, but more so as the years advance. And we found the finest doctor we had ever encountered during the journey through our colourful, eventful, and often difficult lives – living, as we had done under many regimes, in many countries. And right here in the Wakefield doctors office in the heart of our village, we found Dr. Folkerson.

Dr. Folkerson has an unerring physician’s eye and unerring judgment and compassion when balancing duty of care with quality of life. He held our hands through the earlier stages of Maureen’s cancer before handing her over to the cancer and end-of-life specialists. Likewise, he has directed and coordinated treatment and pointed me to superb specialists for my rare neurological condition and less rare critical cardiology issues. 

My sadness at his departure stems from the necessity of saying goodbye to an old friend and the advent of the abyss of unknowing, as I look towards the future of my front-line medical support. No doctor is available to add me to their list. Like thousands – even millions, I am without a family doctor – someone who will know me, my diagnoses, my foibles and my difficulties as I walk through the door. This sadness extends to the state of the medical support system in Quebec and our part of Quebec in particular. Our centralized socialist government has decided that a centralized bureaucracy in Quebec City will be better at handling our overall medical needs and personal misfortunes than a locally based control over balancing the needs of the people with vital and local medical services. To be “known” is vital to human survival. To become merely a “statistic” with a possible medical condition is the beginning of disinheritance from the human race.

So, dear Dr. Folkerson, you will be sadly missed by me and by many in our community. I want to thank you profoundly for saving my life and my sanity countless times. For being part of our community health endeavour and for the confidence and spirit of hope you engendered in those you met. 

Let us all hope that the spirit of Drs. Geggie and Folkerson will protect and even expand the medical services we currently have in our region.  And may calls for your replacement be answered by many qualified doctors eager to relish a worthwhile living and working life in The Hills. 

Thank you. 

Andrew Salkeld lives in Wakefield, QC.

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Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

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