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We acknowledge the nancial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian

Vol. 131 No. 18 Friday, July 12, 2013

90 cents + tax

Physician shortage wounds Minnedosa

ER closure could become reality
By DARRYL HOLYK t one of the first meetings to introduce the proposal of a joint health care facility for Minnedosa and Neepawa, it was stated that while Minnedosa had a full slate of physicians at the time, a shortage would be coming in the next

few years. That statement has become a reality and Minnedosa has now joined many other communities in the province facing a shortage in medical physicians. Earlier this year, Minnedosa lost Drs. Roche and Bishay, leaving Drs. Khandelwal, Onyshko,

Hussain and Sulaiman to pick up the extra workload. Last Tuesday, July 2nd, our community welcomed Dr. Lysack to fi ll one of the physician vacancies; however, after only one day in practice with Minnedosa Medical Group, she determined this posting was not in her best interests and

Photo by Darryl Holyk

Although still providing full service, Minnedosas Emergency Room could face closure in the future as a result of a physician shortage in the community.
moved on. Adding to the local shortage is the recent verbal notice Prairie Mountain Health has received from Dr. Sulaiman that she will be ending her practice in Minnedosa at the end of August. She has also chosen to no longer participate in emergency room on-call at the hospital effective immediately. These recent change of events has really left us with a huge loss, stated Michelle McKay, Director, Medical Services Administration for Prairie Mountain Health. It essentially means that we have three physicians currently participating in Emergency Room on call hospital work and four providing primary care services which will reduce to three as of September 1st. It is a very difficult situation and it does provide a huge amount of workload for the remaining physicians. With these recent changes, the fear of a temporary Emergency Room closure for Minnedosa becomes a very real and frightening possibility. ER closures have already become a reality for many rural communities and just last week, the community of Killarney experienced its ER being closed due to the resignation of two of its physicians. To address the physician shortages in Minnedosa, Prairie Mountain Health will be holding a meeting with community leaders and local physicians. We have to determine what plans can be put in place to assist the physicians during this time, said Michelle. We will be working with communities and providers to determine what services can be maintained and where we may need to look at possible changes in the short term. We are obviously in a pretty dire situation here, mentioned Minnedosa Mayor, Ray Orr. We have been in constant touch with the RHA and I believe they are doing the best that they can do under the circumstances. I think one of the ways we can help is to get our facilities up to date.


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