Left out of the loop

Everton McLean
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Doctors should have been consulted on clinic cuts: physicians association

Norah Duggan, president-elect of the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, speaks to the media about changes in medical diagnostic services in the Flower's Cove and Lewisporte areas. Photo by Keith Gosse/The Tel

The provincial government should have consulted doctors and health professionals before deciding to cut services in Flower's Cove and Lewisporte, says the president-elect of the local chapter of the College of Family Physicians, and the organization is calling on Health Minister Paul Oram to reconsider.
"I want to express our concern with the recent announcement by Minister of Health Paul Oram to close and relocate laboratory and X-ray facilities from the Lewisporte and Flower's Cove facilities," Dr. Norah Duggan said during a news conference Thursday.
The announcements, which came on Aug. 31, have caused an uproar among doctors, patients and politicians since then.
Duggan said the cuts will affect the ability of doctors at the clinics to treat patients.
"This reduction in services will impact access to care for patients. Family doctors in rural communities need these services to provide care to patients," she said.
"I have extensive experience as a rural physician in the first part of my practice. ... I can tell you from my personal experience that making decisions in rural communities about patient care is often dependent on making tests available."
As well, she said, sending ambulances along rural roads can be dangerous, and without proper testing available, more could unnecessarily make the trip.
"To maintain access to care, we need to develop a collaborative approach to providing required services that support patients and family doctors," she said.
Duggan also decried the province's decision-making process, which she said did not include any consultation with "family doctors, other health professionals and patients who are directly impacted."
She said the college would welcome the opportunity to meet with the government to discuss "such important issues."
"We invite minister Oram to work with us," she said, adding that with consultation, better, more innovative ways to manage health care could be found.
She ended by urging the province to reconsider its decision.
Oram was not available for interviews.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: College of Family Physicians

Geographic location: Lewisporte

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Recent comments

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Novel idea: consulting with those players actually on the ground. History, however, repeats itself and just like fishers who's warnings fell on deaf ears because they didn't match the 'science' here we have medical professionals who couldn't possibly know more than Minister Oram about acute care. Outside of his own parachuted into riding, Danny seems to care not a whit about the other side of the overpass. Newfoundlanders need to wake up, just because he's rich doesn't mean that he has Newfoundland's best interests at heart; better we should trust those with means even less.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Nasty Nate from St Johns, NL writes: So when do we let go of Danny again? That's up to you!

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    So does anyone actually think that doctors would go for cuts of any type if they HAD been consulted? Of course not!

    Someone has to make the hard decisions. Sorry if every bay and cove can't have a fully-equipped hospital within 10 kilometers but that's one of the things you have to live with.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I won't even offer my own comment on this one, lol. The haters will only call me all the things they usually do and back it up with zero, or out of touch examples of what they claim. Instead, I will cut and paste a comment from the cbc website about the same story. If a hater would like to claim I posted it to cbc originally, that's ok. I know I didn't and the original poster would also know that. It just goes to show that the haters want EVERYTHING fixed NOW. They're not interested in any reasoning as to why things are unfolding the way they are, they simply hate it and that's that.

    'Quoted directly from comments on cbc'
    -Restaurant Owner changes menu, doesn't consult chefs...
    Oil exec re-designs Rig, doesn't consult riggers...
    Vacuum cleaner co. owner changes products, doesn't consult salesmen...
    Post Master General alters delivery routes/schedules, doesn't consult postmen....-


    You see where this is going?


    We only have enough people for a few big hospitals. Our geography is the only thing making it necessary to have more than we technically, or mathematically, need. Wouldn't you think it better to strategically place the largest, most modernized facilities and services and streamline those instead of speckling out a couple of thousand facilities with only a fraction of services in a bigger center?

  • DG
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Time to wake up people this govt. can do what it wants. Remember who voted for them, they're riding high in the polls, I don't know why? I guess it's just us not thinking for ourselves again. Remember the ABC campaigne? You were told how to vote and you did what you were told.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Even here on the Avalon, it's guaranteed that there will be some people who will have to travel just as far, if not farther for blood work and X-Eays. The problem is that Joey tried top give all communities a hospital and now people are finally starting to realize that there are more hospitals and the services that they provide than are needed. I see nothing bad about travelling the equivelant of comming in from Holyrood, Harbour Main, Avondale area. In fact many come into town to go tom work. Get organized and get the work done while you are in town.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Kyra, that's because the majority vote for Danny. Reading this online Telegram you might not think so, but in reality we are talking about 2 or 2.5 individuals making all the noise in here under different pseudonyms. No other explanation fits.

  • Nasty Nate
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Things that make ya go Mmmmm from St. Johns, NL who ever said that HAVE meant a fully-equiped hospital in every one of NL's 32,847 coves, bays and inlets ? What are you eating today that's so 'Mmmmm' tasty ? Special brownies ? Or did you mean 'Hmmmm' ? I do realize you are just here to start with the HAVE thing again. Broken record is getting old already.

  • Things that make
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Gerald from NL writes: There are many communities in this Province where residents have to drive 100+ kms to access xray and blood services. Do all of these communities deserve the same services Lewisporte and Flowers Cove have. Where's your money coming from to pay for these services?

    Are you for real? Do you forget Danny telling us all that we are a HAVE province? Well let's have it then, or was that just blowing smoke to make everyone think all was well?

  • mark D
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    The problem is some of these Doctors think they are Gods when they are not.

    There is only one God and Danny Williams will be the first to tell you it is him.

    How dare you challenge the Lord.

  • Kyra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Yet everyone keeps voting for Danny! Wake up.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Did you not get the memo? Danny rules this province and will do what he wants when he want. Do not question your leader, or face being let go.

    So when do we let go of Danny again?

  • Lorraine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    They hit the nail on the head... the doctors should have been consulted. They may have helped the government come up with a $400,000 savings in other areas.. who knows?

  • Gerald
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    There are many communities in this Province where residents have to drive 100+ kms to access xray and blood services. Do all of these communities deserve the same services Lewisporte and Flowers Cove have. Where's your money coming from to pay for these services?

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Novel idea: consulting with those players actually on the ground. History, however, repeats itself and just like fishers who's warnings fell on deaf ears because they didn't match the 'science' here we have medical professionals who couldn't possibly know more than Minister Oram about acute care. Outside of his own parachuted into riding, Danny seems to care not a whit about the other side of the overpass. Newfoundlanders need to wake up, just because he's rich doesn't mean that he has Newfoundland's best interests at heart; better we should trust those with means even less.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Nasty Nate from St Johns, NL writes: So when do we let go of Danny again? That's up to you!

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    So does anyone actually think that doctors would go for cuts of any type if they HAD been consulted? Of course not!

    Someone has to make the hard decisions. Sorry if every bay and cove can't have a fully-equipped hospital within 10 kilometers but that's one of the things you have to live with.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I won't even offer my own comment on this one, lol. The haters will only call me all the things they usually do and back it up with zero, or out of touch examples of what they claim. Instead, I will cut and paste a comment from the cbc website about the same story. If a hater would like to claim I posted it to cbc originally, that's ok. I know I didn't and the original poster would also know that. It just goes to show that the haters want EVERYTHING fixed NOW. They're not interested in any reasoning as to why things are unfolding the way they are, they simply hate it and that's that.

    'Quoted directly from comments on cbc'
    -Restaurant Owner changes menu, doesn't consult chefs...
    Oil exec re-designs Rig, doesn't consult riggers...
    Vacuum cleaner co. owner changes products, doesn't consult salesmen...
    Post Master General alters delivery routes/schedules, doesn't consult postmen....-


    You see where this is going?


    We only have enough people for a few big hospitals. Our geography is the only thing making it necessary to have more than we technically, or mathematically, need. Wouldn't you think it better to strategically place the largest, most modernized facilities and services and streamline those instead of speckling out a couple of thousand facilities with only a fraction of services in a bigger center?

  • DG
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Time to wake up people this govt. can do what it wants. Remember who voted for them, they're riding high in the polls, I don't know why? I guess it's just us not thinking for ourselves again. Remember the ABC campaigne? You were told how to vote and you did what you were told.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Even here on the Avalon, it's guaranteed that there will be some people who will have to travel just as far, if not farther for blood work and X-Eays. The problem is that Joey tried top give all communities a hospital and now people are finally starting to realize that there are more hospitals and the services that they provide than are needed. I see nothing bad about travelling the equivelant of comming in from Holyrood, Harbour Main, Avondale area. In fact many come into town to go tom work. Get organized and get the work done while you are in town.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Kyra, that's because the majority vote for Danny. Reading this online Telegram you might not think so, but in reality we are talking about 2 or 2.5 individuals making all the noise in here under different pseudonyms. No other explanation fits.

  • Nasty Nate
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Things that make ya go Mmmmm from St. Johns, NL who ever said that HAVE meant a fully-equiped hospital in every one of NL's 32,847 coves, bays and inlets ? What are you eating today that's so 'Mmmmm' tasty ? Special brownies ? Or did you mean 'Hmmmm' ? I do realize you are just here to start with the HAVE thing again. Broken record is getting old already.

  • Things that make
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Gerald from NL writes: There are many communities in this Province where residents have to drive 100+ kms to access xray and blood services. Do all of these communities deserve the same services Lewisporte and Flowers Cove have. Where's your money coming from to pay for these services?

    Are you for real? Do you forget Danny telling us all that we are a HAVE province? Well let's have it then, or was that just blowing smoke to make everyone think all was well?

  • mark D
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    The problem is some of these Doctors think they are Gods when they are not.

    There is only one God and Danny Williams will be the first to tell you it is him.

    How dare you challenge the Lord.

  • Kyra
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Yet everyone keeps voting for Danny! Wake up.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Did you not get the memo? Danny rules this province and will do what he wants when he want. Do not question your leader, or face being let go.

    So when do we let go of Danny again?

  • Lorraine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    They hit the nail on the head... the doctors should have been consulted. They may have helped the government come up with a $400,000 savings in other areas.. who knows?

  • Gerald
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    There are many communities in this Province where residents have to drive 100+ kms to access xray and blood services. Do all of these communities deserve the same services Lewisporte and Flowers Cove have. Where's your money coming from to pay for these services?