A recent decision by a local medical clinic not to renew a doctor’s contract has prompted several former patients to voice their objections publicly, due in part to an inaccuracy reported in the Aug. 13 issue of the Chronicle.
Joan Etheridge was quoted as saying that she had heard Dr. Vivan Kilvert was being let go by the Ladysmith Family Practice Clinic — a division of the Ladysmith Community Health Centre — due to the fact that an excess of tests ordered on behalf of patients had led to Kilvert being “over budget.”
Heather Dunne, site manager at the LCHC, confirmed that this was not the case.
“Dr. Kilvert didn’t directly spend any money at all,” Dunne said. “The physicians within the clinic are on a service contract and they all get paid the same. She wasn’t overspending.”
Dunne refrained from disclosing specifics — Kilvert’s departure “is a private issue between the physician and VIHA,” Dunne explained — but she did say that the clinic’s decision not to renew Kilvert’s contract was “made for the best of the clinic and the community, although for some members of the community, it may not seem that way.”
Kilvert spoke to the Chronicle Aug. 23, confirming that had she been given a choice, she would have stayed on at the LFPC.
“It was not my decision to not renew my contract,” Kilvert added.
Citing a confidentiality clause in her contract with VIHA, Kilvert said she was “not at liberty to discuss the particulars,” before adding that “this has been a difficult time for myself and many of my patients.”
“I will be looking for a new practice somewhere between Duncan and Nanaimo,” Kilvert added, “and of course my former patients are welcome in the future at any practice I may have.”
Kilvert was born and raised in Ladysmith, she said. She completed her bachelor of science at UVic before moving to Calgary to pursue a degree in medicine.
Following a family-practice residency in Calgary, Kilvert returned home to Vancouver Island in 2001 to spend the next several years covering locums in the region. She joined the LFPC in 2009.
As she moves on, Kilvert said she “probably won’t be going too far, because this is home.”
Kilvert advised that any further inquiries or comments regarding her departure from the LFPC be directed to VIHA or to Dunne. VIHA’s communications and public relations department for Central Vancouver Island can be reached by phone at 250-739-6303.
Dr. Chris Fritsch, a former colleague of Kilvert’s at the LFPC, referred to her as an “excellent doctor” before labelling the clinic’s decision to let Kilvert go as “unreasonable.”
***Correction: A story published in our Aug. 13 edition under the headline “Patients upset over doctor’s departure” included an incorrect spelling (“Vivian”) of Dr. Vivan Kilvert’s first name. We apologize for the error.