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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Doctor's departure will leave B.C. town with no family practice, no ER

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. - When Dr. Uzair Sheik turns out the lights at his rural British Columbia family practice at the end of this week, the town will be without a family doctor.

For five years, Sheik was the sole physician in Logan Lake, a mining town of 2,000 people located about 45 minutes southwest of Kamloops.

Acting Mayor Robin Smith says the Interior Health Authority has informed her that, as of March 1, the emergency department at the health centre will remain closed because of his departure.

The local nurse practitioner will extend her hours in order to help, making her available for appointments five days a week.

And Smith says one doctor has show interest in moving to the community but there is no confirmation they will be filling the void.

A community meeting is planned for Monday night, and both health authority officials and local Liberal MLA Terry Lake are expected to attend.

Sheik and his family will return to Africa. He says he's sorry to leave, but notes that his role in Logan Lake was a challenge. He and his wife had to adjust to the smaller community, having left behind a large, extended family in Africa.

They also were challenged with substantially different weather conditions and a 12-hour time difference between B.C. and their home halfway across the world, which made phone calls home a once- or twice-a-month occurrence. (Kamloops This Week)

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