RIDGEWAY – This Fairfield County town of some 400 persons is actively seeking a general practitioner to serve more than 5,000 residents in the area. Ridgeway has been without a general practitioner for almost a year, and Fairview, Inc., a non-profit organization of area citizens, took action of area citizens, took action this month to change the situation.
Fairview members decided to place an ad for a doctor in the July edition of “The Recorder,” journal of the Columbia Medical Society. The Rev. Maxie C. Collins, Fairview director, reported no response.
Fairview, organized in 1950, operates Fairview Home and Fairview Hospital in Ridgeway. The former is a new 63-bed nursing home with a class I certification, and the latter is a 14-bed hospital for treatment of acute alcoholism.
The ad offers “a desirable small town practice worth about $40,000 per annum,” along with salaried positions to assist the staff of the home and hospital.
“We would be interested in a doctor just having office hours to sort of take the pressure off,” Collins said, but added that citizens would like to get a general practitioner who would reside in Ridgeway.
He explained only one general practitioner now serves the home and hospital, with staff of 16 and 45 persons, respectively. And the doctor, who lives some 10 miles away in Winnsboro and does not serve the general public, “is over worked as it is,” Collins noted.
He said area citizens must seek a physician when the need arises in Columbia, 23 miles south, or Camden, 25 miles east, and more than 20 miles away in Blaney or Lugoff.
Ambulance service must come from Winnsboro, Columbia or Camden, Collins remarked, and those seeking treatment from a specialist usually go to Columbia.
Fairview is seeking a general practitioner as “a matter of convenience to the people,” he said.
He stressed that a doctor in Ridgeway recieved $20,000 annually 10 year ago, and added the growth of the area has more than doubled since them. Collins said citizens would even try to build a drug store if a doctor would come to Ridgeway.
The ad placed by Fairview reads, in part, “We will build a home to suit your family and sell it at cost, finance as necessary, or will rent. Free office space for one year.” It also states that nearby are country club, golf courses, schools, churches and fishing and boating facilities.