July 31, 2008

Newfoundland Loses Doctors

Facing the exit of his ovarian and cervical oncologist team, Newfoundland's health minister said he may have to send his patients around Canada for treatment.

Ross Wiseman said he would pay to airlift all 1,200 of his province's patients without doctors from St. John's to treatment centers across the country if necessary.

He told the Globe and Mail Thursday, however, he realizes such a move might jam up further the already overloaded oncology patient flow. There are only about five dozen oncologists in the nation.

Wiseman hopes to replace the three departed doctors -- the whole team -- by October. The trio cited working conditions for their move.

Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, said the oncologists left St. John's because they said they could not properly treat patients in the resource-strapped environment.