More patients will be forced to wait longer at the Valley Regional Hospital after the announcement that three physicians are departing the hospital over administrative concerns, say Kings North MLA John Lohr and Progressive Conservative Health critic Karla MacFarlane.
“I’m disappointed to see the Valley Regional Hospital lose three excellent physicians,” said Lohr. “The government needs to address the root causes of these issues to avoid further physician burnout and the loss of more doctors.”
PC Health critic Karla MacFarlane says that in order to increase recruitment and retention of physicians, the government must address the number of patients without family doctors and the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s failure to consider improvements suggested by health professionals.
“When people don’t have a family doctor, they often go to their local ER for treatment,” says MacFarlane. “The lack of access to family doctors is a key factor in overcrowding at hospitals.”
When speaking to reporters about their departure, the three physicians cited the NSHA’s inflexible policies as a barrier to using their clinical judgment and recalled being stone-walled when suggesting improvements to policies.
“We need to listen to health professionals when they try to make recommendations to improve our healthcare system, not push them away,” said MacFarlane. “The NSHA needs to listen to doctors and develop their policies based on the feedback of health professionals.”
Lohr also recognizes a lack of resources at regional hospitals as a contributor to overcrowding and long wait times.
“The fact that we are soon to lose three physicians tells a clear story that this hospital needs more resources to support existing staff and to offer adequate care,” said Lohr. “It’s difficult to make a case for physicians to practice in rural areas when we can’t retain the physicians that we already have.”