Rheumatologists speak out on doctor shortages

Staff ~ The Telegram
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Three of four of the province's rheumatologists pleaded today for some attention to their plight at the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association's fifth session on doctor shortages.
The province needs 10 rheumatologists, but only has four, the media was told. All of those doctors are in St. John's which means travel time and expense for patients, besides long wait times.
The rheumatologists this year had to cut 1,000 people temporarily from their wait list in order to cut down the time for urgent and semi-urgent patients.?And that was before one of the specialists left the province, leaving only four.
They say in order to attract specialists - in short supply across the country - the province has to be competitive.
"Four rheumatologists serving the needs of the entire population is just not enough," said NLMA president Dr. Brendan Lewis, who is an orthopedic surgeon.
He performs surgery on arthritis patients, but because of wait times for rhematology, by the time they see him, they have had a lot of pain and suffering.
Full coverage in Friday's print edition.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association

Geographic location: St. John's

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Alma
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I have often wanted to move back to NFLD to live but I was told not to move . THere was lack of RHEUMATOGIST . MY arthris is very serious. I better stay and live in NS where I have one of my own. I'm in the good hands of Nova Scvotia Drs . I wish to move back to NFLD cuz it is my home . Maybe one day who knows.
    Hope They get more RHEUMATOSISTS in NFLD in the near future

  • Enough of
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Health Care in this Province is in such dire straights. Now we have Government trying to obtain more control and access to personal information with the Pharmacy Link System which only exposes everyone's personal information Province wide. So we have no access to doctors to prescribe proper medication, yet we have government putting controls on medications above and beyond the manufactures recommendations. Dictator regimes controlling pain and suffering are still alive in Newfoundland.

    I think I will be filling all my drug store needs from now on via the on-line shopping network or out of province. Not too much difference when it comes to information I guess. But better to not have that information in the hands of people who are local to you that can have a more negative impact.

    I have to ask how much has this networked system cost the taxpayer?

    No wonder we can not pay doctors when government spends millions in attempts to collect information on the people without the real intentions being stated.

  • Marie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I am one of the lucky ones I have been going to a rheumatologist for 5 years. I got reffered before all this started. I have to say that my rheumatologist is great but the waiting time is crazy. Even 5 years ago I had to wait 2 years so got into see one. That is way to long. We need rheumatologist so baddly. Poeple are getting disabled because they are not getting treatment in a timely basis.

  • Christine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I have to agree that wait times are out of this world!! My husband, retired military (now), would never have had the opportunity to see a Rheumatologist as quickly as he did. In NS, virtually the next day!! Here, life altering! Money talks!!

  • Karen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    The waiting period to see a rheumatologist in Nl was stated as being on average about 9 1/2 months. My sister who is listed as URGENT has been on that waiting list since Feb 09. That does not include the time she has waited just trying to get on that list. She has both rheumatoid & osteoarthritis and is trying to keep healthy even in the midst of severe pain and suffering. Trying to convince a Doctor that you have a serious problem to begin with is not easy either.

  • Alma
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I have often wanted to move back to NFLD to live but I was told not to move . THere was lack of RHEUMATOGIST . MY arthris is very serious. I better stay and live in NS where I have one of my own. I'm in the good hands of Nova Scvotia Drs . I wish to move back to NFLD cuz it is my home . Maybe one day who knows.
    Hope They get more RHEUMATOSISTS in NFLD in the near future

  • Enough of
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Health Care in this Province is in such dire straights. Now we have Government trying to obtain more control and access to personal information with the Pharmacy Link System which only exposes everyone's personal information Province wide. So we have no access to doctors to prescribe proper medication, yet we have government putting controls on medications above and beyond the manufactures recommendations. Dictator regimes controlling pain and suffering are still alive in Newfoundland.

    I think I will be filling all my drug store needs from now on via the on-line shopping network or out of province. Not too much difference when it comes to information I guess. But better to not have that information in the hands of people who are local to you that can have a more negative impact.

    I have to ask how much has this networked system cost the taxpayer?

    No wonder we can not pay doctors when government spends millions in attempts to collect information on the people without the real intentions being stated.

  • Marie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I am one of the lucky ones I have been going to a rheumatologist for 5 years. I got reffered before all this started. I have to say that my rheumatologist is great but the waiting time is crazy. Even 5 years ago I had to wait 2 years so got into see one. That is way to long. We need rheumatologist so baddly. Poeple are getting disabled because they are not getting treatment in a timely basis.

  • Christine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I have to agree that wait times are out of this world!! My husband, retired military (now), would never have had the opportunity to see a Rheumatologist as quickly as he did. In NS, virtually the next day!! Here, life altering! Money talks!!

  • Karen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    The waiting period to see a rheumatologist in Nl was stated as being on average about 9 1/2 months. My sister who is listed as URGENT has been on that waiting list since Feb 09. That does not include the time she has waited just trying to get on that list. She has both rheumatoid & osteoarthritis and is trying to keep healthy even in the midst of severe pain and suffering. Trying to convince a Doctor that you have a serious problem to begin with is not easy either.