Dr. David Botha, family physician and general practitioner, recently opened the doors to his new part time practice in Hope, at 211 Park Street, on Tuesday, May 24. Botha met candidly with The Standard to discuss medicine, patients, and the services he offers at his spacious and beautifully decorated office.
The South African native, moved to Hope 14 years ago, with his wife Zelda and opened a practice in Hope, before heading to Chilliwack to open his doors there. He then decided upon his recent return.
Botha studied medicine at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He started out in geology, then went into forestry, and forest pathology, before committing to the art of medicine.
“That was the way of it, I spent seven years in forest pathology before being called to medicine,” he said of the trajectory of his extensive education.
The nature lover, admits that South Africa is jungle in itself, compared to Hope.
Botha grew up in the Northernmost part of South Africa, near Zimbabwee, before heading to Cape Town to study forestry, and then on to medicine.
Botha did his housemanship in Windhoek Namibia, before he opened a private practice in Melkboostrand, South Africa, before relocating with Zelda.
The clinic, which has an African inspired ambience to it, is currently accepting new patients.
Botha is a general practitioner and admits that patient/physician care is comparable globally, except North Americans tend to be a bit more spoiled then South African patients, in terms of accessing a doctor, or utilizing emergency services for minute things.
South African patients are quite restricted within their medical system, compared to Canadians, according to Botha.
“People there only see a doctor when absolutely necessary. I think people here don’t necessarily realize what a good system they’re dealing with” he said.
The amiable doctor is planning to open the clinic full-time, as patient volume has increased extensively in the past couple of weeks, since his grand opening. He is most pleased to give his longtime patients a break from the drive to Chilliwack to receive his care.
Botha and Zelda recently received their Canadian citizenship, which is another cause for celebration for the Hope physician.
“It took us a long, long time to get our citizenship, which happened on May 12 this year, so now I can say eh,” he said jokingly of the expression.
The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Eventually he plans to open full-time.