Roddickton resident searching for answers as town’s only doctor prepares to leave in December

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The White Bay Central Health Center in Roddickton-Bide Arm will be physician-free by the end of 2021. (Labrador-Grenfell Health)

A Roddickton-Bide Arm man says a doctor shortage in the area is “the tip of the iceberg” as the community braces for being completely doctorless by the end of the year.

Travis Gillard, spokesperson for the new Save our White Bay central health center action committee, said he was asked to take action after no doctors were available at the health center over the week -end of Thanksgiving.

He said he expressed his concerns on social media and heard from many who share his concern.

“The people of this region are very shocked by the recent events in [Labrador-Grenfell] Health. I would call it a crisis in our local clinic, ”Gillard told CBC radio Newfoundland morning Thursday.

“It was shocking. What we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg, the things that are being released publicly… I can’t imagine the stress these people work under when emergencies arise.”

Roddickton-Bide Arm is one of many communities across the province facing a physician shortage. According to Gillard, and later confirmed by Labrador-Grenfell Health, the only doctor in the community will be leaving town on December 20.

Gillard also highlighted concerns about ambulance services in the area, such as a recent case in which he said he drove a man to hospital an hour and a half from St. Anthony because an ambulance was missing. not available.

He said there was a need for openness on the part of the provincial health authorities and the provincial government.

“We know there is a health care crisis in the province, maybe across the country… we want answers and we are adamant. We want the best health care available for our residents here in this region. “said Gillard.

“We have a doctor who is a prime minister, a health minister who is a doctor… we should be in the best possible position to have the best health care available with these critical positions held by health care workers. what we are seeing is quite the opposite. “

“We have to pull ourselves together”

Heather Brown, president and CEO of Labrador-Grenfell Health, said she was aware of the current situation at Roddickton-Bide Arm and that no doctor is currently in place to replace the departing doctor.

She said her team is continuing its efforts to recruit more healthcare professionals, while finding ways to ensure that patients’ needs are met with available resources.

“The big picture, really, is how are we going to be able to work together to ensure that people have access to the services they need,” Brown said. Newfoundland morning Friday.

Heather Brown, CEO of Labrador Grenfell Health, said the health authority strives to provide the best care with the resources available. (Labrador Grenfell Health)

“We are still struggling to recruit nurses and doctors. And we provide care. We coordinate care to use our registered nurses and nursing assistants to the best of our ability… according to their needs. “

Brown said support could come from virtual care when needed, but Gillard said he was concerned virtual care might not always be an adequate replacement for an available doctor.

He hopes to bring his concerns and other issues to the health authority in November at a health authority meeting with community members.

“We look forward to meaningful conversations,” Brown said.

Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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