Gyne-oncs will take new patients

Nadya Bell
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Health Leaving in December, no alternative plan for new referrals

The province's three surgeons who deal with women's cancers say there is no plan in place to deal with new patients, so they will continue to see women that need treatment.

The gynecological oncologists held what they thought would be their last clinic Tuesday, because there has been no resolution to the numerous patient-care issues that lead the doctors to tender their resignations in July.

The province's three surgeons who deal with women's cancers say there is no plan in place to deal with new patients, so they will continue to see women that need treatment.

The gynecological oncologists held what they thought would be their last clinic Tuesday, because there has been no resolution to the numerous patient-care issues that lead the doctors to tender their resignations in July.

But the physicians had a change of heart when they found out Eastern Health doesn't have an alternate plan for patient care.

"We had believed that there would have already been some sort of process in place with Eastern Health for our potential departure," Dr. Cathy Popadiuk said.

"We follow moral and ethical principles and we cannot stand by and watch patients come for help and not attend to them," she said.

"We cannot leave patients behind. Even though we cannot give them a three-month notice, having us here is better than no one," Popadiuk said.

About 25 new patients per month

The specialists say they see about 25 new patients every month. Some types of ovarian cancers they treat need very swift treatment, so any delays in treatment could be dangerous.

"We are committed to the patients and patient care during any potential transition and we're not going to leave any patients behind," Popadiuk said.

The specialists originally said they would resign on Oct. 7.

They wanted to give their patients the recommended three-months' notice of their departure, but they have still not been given a complete patient list by the administration so they can send out the letters.

Popadiuk said letters will be sent sometime this week notifying patients that if the doctors' issues with their employer are not resolved, they will leave the hospital in mid-December.

But, for the new patients they may see in the meantime, Popadiuk said the physicians won't be able to give them that notice.

"It's really unfortunate that this limbo has been created where we don't know yet what resources Eastern Health will be bringing in," Popadiuk said.

The specialists met with Ross Wiseman, the minister of Health and his staff Wednesday, but they say no resolution was reached.

Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association president, said talks are ongoing and her association is prepared to sit down with both sides to find a solution.

"I think it's a disservice to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador for government to not do whatever is in their power to keep them here," Callahan said.

"I would like to see both sides sit down and try to come to some solution to the problem that shows respect for both sides," she said.

nbell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Cy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Between the three they see 25 new patients a month. 2 each per week and they don't take emergency call. Nice work if you can get it. Between them they do less than 300 proceedures a year(some less than hour)
    Sask Population 1 Million ONE Gyne-onc
    South Alberta Pop 1 millionplus with TWO

  • Snipe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Cy from NL writes: Between the three they see 25 new patients a month. 2 each per week and they don't take emergency call. Nice work if you can get it. Between them they do less than 300 proceedures a year(some less than hour)

    Get real bye... That's 25 NEW cases each month on top of those they already have...What do you think they do, see 25 per month, cure them and send them home in time for another 25?

    Make no wonder Danny is able to pull the wool over your eyes...

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    don't go crying wolf,if you said you are leaving,then...i'd say don't think for one minute that danny doesn't have someone else to do the job...maybe at a better setup..after all it is people's lives...but all business

  • Donna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Having read the article online this morning, it's been on my mind all day. I am a breast cancer survivor, at least right now I am, so I can speak from experience of the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis and the wait to see an oncologist who would determine my treatment options. I can't imagine how much more difficult that would have been if I couldn't have been treated in the province and in an acceptable time. I'm just wondering if circumstances would be different if the oncologists were dealing with a cancer that affected both male and female or just male patients. Why are they paid less than other oncologists? I realize that prostate cancer patients have been sent out of province for treatment, but there must be a better solution.

  • piker
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    In response to Cy: Our health care is in a CRITICAL CRISIS and maybe Saskatchewan and South Alberta are in the same situation if they have such extremely high numbers as you say they do...

    I pray to God that OUR situation here in Newfoundland and Labrador changes or many of us are going to suffer from the consequences without any chance of survival. This is an extremely terrifying situation. This province needs an urgent solution NOW.

  • Cy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Between the three they see 25 new patients a month. 2 each per week and they don't take emergency call. Nice work if you can get it. Between them they do less than 300 proceedures a year(some less than hour)
    Sask Population 1 Million ONE Gyne-onc
    South Alberta Pop 1 millionplus with TWO

  • Snipe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Cy from NL writes: Between the three they see 25 new patients a month. 2 each per week and they don't take emergency call. Nice work if you can get it. Between them they do less than 300 proceedures a year(some less than hour)

    Get real bye... That's 25 NEW cases each month on top of those they already have...What do you think they do, see 25 per month, cure them and send them home in time for another 25?

    Make no wonder Danny is able to pull the wool over your eyes...

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    don't go crying wolf,if you said you are leaving,then...i'd say don't think for one minute that danny doesn't have someone else to do the job...maybe at a better setup..after all it is people's lives...but all business

  • Donna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Having read the article online this morning, it's been on my mind all day. I am a breast cancer survivor, at least right now I am, so I can speak from experience of the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis and the wait to see an oncologist who would determine my treatment options. I can't imagine how much more difficult that would have been if I couldn't have been treated in the province and in an acceptable time. I'm just wondering if circumstances would be different if the oncologists were dealing with a cancer that affected both male and female or just male patients. Why are they paid less than other oncologists? I realize that prostate cancer patients have been sent out of province for treatment, but there must be a better solution.

  • piker
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    In response to Cy: Our health care is in a CRITICAL CRISIS and maybe Saskatchewan and South Alberta are in the same situation if they have such extremely high numbers as you say they do...

    I pray to God that OUR situation here in Newfoundland and Labrador changes or many of us are going to suffer from the consequences without any chance of survival. This is an extremely terrifying situation. This province needs an urgent solution NOW.