New doctors begin practicing in Preeceville

            Dr. Shamsher Singh of India arrived in Preeceville on October 9 and began practicing at the Preeceville Medical Clinic on October 11. He joined Dawn Kennedy, a nurse practitioner, Dr. Morteza Shahrestani and Dr. Catharina Meyer in practice at the clinic.

            Dr. Singh has been practicing general medicine for 20 years in India.

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            “The first time my family and I arrived in Canada was back in 2014," said Singh. "We came to visit family in Vancouver and really liked Canada and the health system. We made the decision to research locations requiring physicians. Our research took us to Saskatchewan and Preeceville. The help and support has been great from Canada.

            "The licensing process was long and during the process I travelled back and forth to India to continue working,” Singh said. “There was a two-year process to attain the proper licence to work in Canada.

            “Once I passed all required exams, I was able to move my family to Preeceville to begin practicing medicine. We are all excited to be in Preeceville and look forward to becoming involved in the community."

            Singh specialized in internal medicine in India but his qualifications do not apply here in Canada. He said he enjoys traveling to different countries particularly historical destinations and has a great interest in school athletics. 

            Dr. Catharina Meyer originally grew-up in South Africa. While growing up she had lived in the communities of Pretoria and Cape Town and in Botswana. She attended the University of Cape Town, where she began her physician training. After only three years of the course, she suspended her education for a two-year period. She had taken the two years off to work to pay for her education. She later resumed education and graduated as a medical doctor.

            "I spent the first year in Cape Town as a physician,” said Meyer. "After Cape Town, I spent nine years as a civilian in the armed forces, the navy, a family clinic and at a military hospital.

            “While in the clinics I also worked night shifts in a family clinic in Cape Town.

            "Despite having two jobs, I still couldn't afford my house in South Africa. My husband had applied at this point to other countries that included England and Canada. We did face immigration issues especially with my son having special needs. We were told that we would never get immigration status in Canada, but in 2009, we received landed status as permanent residents."

            Meyer practiced medicine in the communities of Maidstone and later Moose Jaw where her husband was the principal of a school. In 2006 they moved to Carlyle where she practiced for four years before getting ill. Her specialists recommended that she no longer perform night emergencies. She left Carlyle and through her brother Pastor Hein Bertram, she applied to Preeceville and was accepted. Pastor Hein Bertram is the pastor at the St. John Lutheran Church in Preeceville.

            "Coming to Preeceville is like coming home," she said. "I purchased a home and my husband and I want to retire here. Upon arriving in Preeceville we were warmly welcomed with a special basket. It was a great introduction to a beautiful community.”