Longtime urologist retires

Specialty already in shortage

Barb Sweet bsweet@thetelegram.com
Published on March 29, 2012

Another urologist has left the province. Dr. Leoncio Best’s office in St. John’s has been informing patients he has retired.

Best said he’s been planning his retirement for some time.

“Seems there is no replacement urologist in sight, so I had to make a move at some time and this seemed a good one for me,” he said in an email.

Best has spent 33 years in practice in Newfoundland — eight in Corner Brook and the remainder in St. John’s. “There were many good times, but lately it is becoming harder to work. The load of patients is too much and there is little support to help with the work,” he said.

“I wish everyone the best and will cherish the time I spent practising in Newfoundland.”

Asked for reaction, Eastern Health said it has had no formal notice of the resignation.

But his departure means there are only four urologists, while Eastern Health has already been referring patients until further notice to Halifax, N.S.

Eastern Health hasn’t had a full complement of urologists for some time and non-urgent patients have been referred to Halifax since 2010.

Patients referred to that clinic are subject to a triage system to determine treatment.

A spokeswoman for Eastern Health said during the screening process at the Halifax clinic, some patients may be referred back to their family doctor for further testing.

“Eastern Health continues to work diligently to recruit additional permanent urologists to ensure a long-term, stable urology service for its patients, clients and residents,” an email statement said.

To fill the already existing gap in urology, the authority is counting on recruiting three local residents, with some of them scheduled to be on staff in 2013.