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At a time when many small rural communities are struggling to find family doctors, the medical clinic in Altona has decided to part ways with one of its physicians.

After three years of service at the Altona Clinic, the administration has asked Dr. Tahseen Mahdi to close out his practice by March 10.

"Basically we have decided that Dr. Mahdi is not a good fit to practice with us at this point," said Artan Fetaht, manager for the clinic.

"It was not an easy decision to make but the new ownership and the management of the clinic have decided that it's best for the clinic and for Dr. Mahdi's practice that he no longer serve under the umbrella of the Altona clinic."

Dr. Mahdi, who is originally from Baghdad, Iraq, studied medicine in Britain and immigrated to Canada in 2009, completing his exams with the Medical Council of Canada.

He joined the medical team in Altona in 2014.

Fetaht did not provide any details on the decision to terminate Dr. Mahdi's association with the clinic.

"There were some internal issues, and we have decided that in the interest of the clinic, this is the best way to proceed."

The past six months have been rather tumultuous for the medical facility. In October the clinic welcomed a new physician to the fold, Dr. Moheb Basta, and said goodbye to longtime Altona physician Dr. Dieter Bueddefeld who retired in December.

The clinic was also without the services of Dr. Mahdi from September to the end of December while he served out the remainder of a six-month suspension handed down by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba for an incident that occurred in a different community prior to his arrival in Altona. He had just returned to his practice this month when he was presented with his termination.

The medical facility won't be short any physicians for very long. Dr. Sulaiman Wasan has been hired to join the medical staff starting February 1, which will maintain Altona's physician numbers at four.

"She will be with us full time. She is an IMG (international medical graduate) and we are very happy to have a female physician join our practice. With four doctors we believe that we're going to be providing uninterrupted medical services to the population of this region."

Fetaht says more details about Dr. Wasan will be released when she begins her practice next month.

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