Physicians concerned over lack of consultation on health cuts

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Andrew Robinson
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Dr. Sandra Luscombe, past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA), and St. John’s dermatologist Dr. Ian Landells speak to reporters in St. John's Thursday. — Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) is concerned that the provincial government did not seek expert input from physicians before making recent cuts to health care.

At a news conference held at the NLMA's office in St. John's, past-president Dr. Sandra Luscombe told reporters that doctors received less than 24 hours notice before the province declared MCP would no longer cover laser treatment for vascular skin lesions as of March 1.

Dr. Ian Landells, a dermatologist, said the move will affect thousands of people in the province.

The procedure is used for people with lupus and rosacea, amongst other ailments.

Luscombe said she can understand government's desire to change services in light of the deficit it faces, but added those moves should not be made without consulting physicians.

She said Health Minister Susan Sullivan met with the NLMA Thursday morning and advised the doctors that government will from now on work more closely with the association before making such moves.

For more on this story, read Friday's edition of The Telegram.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association

Geographic location: St. John's

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  • Judith Mercer
    March 26, 2013 - 08:09

    NL Govt says no other province in Canada is covring laser for rosacea. FALSE ! Ontario says: laser is covered if it is acne rosacea but if it's rosacea caused by age or sun damage it is NOT covered. Alberta: policy says laser for rosacea is USUALLY cosmetic and not covered HOWEVER they leave it up to the dr to determine if it is cosmetic or medical and AB Govt cannot make that determination bu the Dr can. So, NL Govt 'why not be forthright with us?" Dr Blar Fleming, NL involved with MCP decision says if it is acne rosacea it is NOT covered. If the face is ulcerated and bleeding it IS covered...So does this force a rosacea patient to let their condition go until they reach point of an ulcerated and bleeding face before MCP will cover? NL govt says we must come on par with rest of canada - if that's the case what about giving the HSC a PET SCANNER ? NL is only province in Canada without a PET SCANNER. Rest of canada has one. PET SCANNER is a diagnostic tool used to early detect cancers, disease at cellular level. Early detection is basis of surviving many cancers and Atlantic Canada has highest cancer rates in all Canada - so how about a PET SCANNER ? LET"S RALLY IN THE NAME OF OUR HEALTH CARE IN NL !

  • EDfromRED
    March 22, 2013 - 23:50

    Next thing the PC's will institute forced abortions if a fetus is found to have birth defects or conditions that will cost too much money to treat. Every week there's more and more proof we are being governed by people with no hearts or brains.

  • paul bonisteel
    March 21, 2013 - 22:59

    C'mon MInister Sullivan, what a pile of crap. You don't mean to tell me nobody thought of consulting doctors before. This move was made deliberately on the part of gov't without consulting physicians. Stop insulting the people of the province with this drivel.

  • PHYSICIAN
    March 21, 2013 - 18:58

    Dumberdale does it again. Consultation is not in the vocabulary of the Government, so patients will suffer. "Will from now work more closely with the Association". They didn't this time so what makes anyone think that they will in the future.

  • Frustrated
    March 21, 2013 - 15:04

    Obviously no one in government needs such treatment or else it wouldn't of been cut. Welfare drug program is the next thing they need to take a serious look at. Where is all the provinces money going to??????All the young people too lazy to work with no health problems or children and receiving welfare....MAKES ME SICK