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Friday, 08 April 2011 08:54

Four doctors recruited to Cypress Health Region

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The Cypress Health Region is pleased to welcome four new physicians, including two specialists, to the region: Dr. Andrea Claassen, Dr. Leonard Byker, Dr. Tarek Sobka, and Dr. Afzaal Ahmad.

Dr. Andre Claassen joined the region in January 2011 and is working at the Southwest Medi-Centre in Swift Current. Dr. Claassen first came to Saskatchewan in February 2008 and set up practice in Kindersley. He had previously worked in New Zealand and also various locations in South Africa, where he received his medical training. Dr. Claassen has additional training in obstetrics/gynecology and his skills will be a great addition to the Women’s and Children’s Health Services unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital. He has many years of experience with tonsillectomies and will be a great help in having additional access to surgeries in Swift Current. Dr. Claassen’s family will be joining him in Swift Current at the end of the school year.

Dr. Leonard Byker has joined the Cypress Health Region effective April 4, 2011. He will be working at the Medical Arts Associate Clinic in Swift Current and is looking forward to starting his practice. Dr. Byker received his training in South Africa and was part of the first group of doctors taking part in the new Saskatchewan Provincial Assessment Program. Dr. Byker has an extensive background in family medicine and will be a great asset to the clinic. He will also be helping Dr. van Breda’s patients while she is away on maternity leave. Dr. Byker and his wife, Jessica, are continuing to settle in their new location and look forward to meeting new friends and colleagues from across the region.

Dr. Tarek Sobka has joined the Central Medical Clinic in Swift Current as of March 22, 2011. In addition to the Central Medical Clinic, Dr. Sobka will be working in the Internal Medicine department at the Cypress Regional Hospital. Dr. Sobka’s education began in his homeland of Libya where he worked for many years before relocating to the United Kingdom in 1994. There, he went on to get his diplomas in nephrology and dialysis to go along with his degree in internal medicine. Dr. Sobka was recommended to the Cypress Health Region from a colleague and friend, Dr. Senyo Tagboto, and will be a great addition to the internal medicine team where he will also join Dr. Rosemary Serwadda and Dr. Tadeyo Khonje. Dr. Sobka’s family will be arriving later this summer.

Dr. Afzaal Ahmad is the fourth physician to be recruited to the Cypress Health Region. Cypress Health is excited to welcome Dr. Ahmad to the surgical team at the Cypress Regional Hospital. Dr. Ahmad will also be joining the Central Medical Clinic and will be working alongside Dr. Aqeel Ghori, who is a friend and former colleague from the United Kingdom. Dr. Ghori recommended that the region contact Dr. Ahmad for this position, eventually leading to his recruitment. Dr. Ahmad received his medical degree in Pakistan and from there relocated to the United Kingdom for additional training and experience, most recently in North Devon, U.K. He brings a vast experience in general and vascular surgical skills to the region. Dr. Ahmad will play a direct role in the region achieving its targets of reducing surgical waitlists. Dr. Ahmad’s family will join him in Swift Current upon completion of the 2010/11 school year.

“The Cypress Health Region is always working extremely hard to recruit new physicians to the region and we’re so excited to welcome Dr. Claassen, Dr. Byker, Dr. Sobka, and Dr. Ahmad,” commented Grant Browne, medical affairs co-ordinator. “As you can see, these physicians have a vast array of experience from across the globe and will undoubtedly be a welcomed edition to the community and entire region. Also, with the addition of two new family physicians to the area, we now have clinics taking in new patients. For those looking for a family doctor, I encourage you to contact the clinics to make an appointment.”

For a complete listing of physicians throughout the region please visit

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