Canada

Medical crisis poised to escalate on Vancouver Island, leaked documents show

The ongoing medical crisis on North Vancouver Island is expected to deepen this fall, according to information leaked from a meeting between doctors at Port Hardy and Island Health.

Port Hardy Hospital faces a critical shortage of doctors that endangers the safety of patients and doctors, according to minutes provided to Canada’s National Observer on Aug. 17. From a meeting between the health of

According to notes from a meeting facilitated by the North Island Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, 6 people in hospitals were hospitalized despite great efforts by local doctors to secure relief doctors. An emergency shift remains uncovered in September.

Due to pending resignations and lingering vacancies, only three doctors are expected to remain in Port Hardy’s hospital emergency room and town clinic in September.

The community should have the equivalent of seven full-time doctors, but only two doctors remain at the community clinic, with a third being shifted to cover acute or emergency care, documents said. increase.

“Physicians are very concerned about patient safety and their own health and wellbeing while trying to balance emergency department coverage with primary care needs, outreach and long-term care,” the conference said. the document states.

In some cases, community doctors are on call every three days or even every day for emergencies. In August, there were 19 emergency shifts that needed to be covered with minimal notice, according to the document.

Physicians have been giving patients prescriptions for drugs for as long as a year, which is against best practice but necessary due to the demands of physician competence, he added.

In the North Island region, hospitals in Port McNeil and Port Hardy have seen repeated emergency room closures, and the ER, which serves the nearby ferry-dependent community of Alert Bay, has been forced to shut down overnight through August. Closed.

Island Health told Canada’s National Observer that it was not considering closing or consolidating emergency rooms serving the North Island.

Physicians feel a strong need to coordinate the planned closures of local ERs to properly advise the public on where to access emergency services, the minutes said. This will prevent remote patients who are unaware of Island Health’s latest closure notices from showing up at the ER with life-threatening medical emergencies only to find the door closed.

He added that last-minute closures are also stressful and time-consuming for doctors to respond.

“Unscheduled (emergency department) closures are dangerous to patients and physicians will be encouraged to have open conversations with the public and communicate planned closures,” the document states. We also need transport assistance to push people out of the area if it closes.”

The closure would be a short-term solution until new doctors can be recruited, the document notes.

However, the conference discussed ways to create systemic change in healthcare in the North Island region.

Island Health recognizes there is room to consolidate resources and is considering the best course of action, the documents said.

“Combining hospitals in the region is one option, but the issue is complex.”

Staff engagement and resistance to where employees are willing to work, as well as nurses with limited emergency room experience, are complicating factors.

A task force, including doctors, was also suggested to develop a strategy around pressing concerns, according to the document, with a focus on creating a schedule that combines planned emergency room closures with communications to the public. I’m here.

Port McNeill also suffers from a severe shortage of doctors, but Island Health recently announced a new primary care clinic owned and operated by health authorities rather than family doctors. Clinics are expected to welcome new doctors and provide social work and midwifery services.

Both Island Health and the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice did not respond to requests for comment before the publication deadline for Canada’s National Observer.

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Medical crisis poised to escalate on Vancouver Island, leaked documents show

Source link Medical crisis poised to escalate on Vancouver Island, leaked documents show

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