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NL’s private healthcare facilities are slammed by demand as patients seek help outside the public system

Private medical clinics in Newfoundland and Labrador are in high demand as patients seek alternatives to the public system. (Paul Daley/CBC)

Public health systems in Newfoundland and Labrador have been hit hard by staff shortages, long wait times and emergency room closures, facing the same challenges as patients seek alternatives.

Sarah Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at Physio North in Labrador, told CBC News that the clinic is fully booked through the new year and is not accepting new appointments at this time.

“The need is astronomical,” said Kennedy. “The need is definitely there. It’s very busy.”

Even with procedures like cervical screening and Pap tests, clinics feel like they’re in a “blitzkrieg,” Kennedy said.

The clinic recently opened 64 appointments for Pap tests, all of which were within an hour, Jones said.

June Tavenor, who runs Catalyst Health Solutions in Paradise, said she opened the clinic out of a need and desire to fix some of the gaps seen between acute care and primary care.

“The system was really struggling to keep up with the demand and the gap even 10 years ago,” she said.

Owners and operators of private clinics in Newfoundland and Labrador say demand is soaring. (Shutterstock)

Tavenner, a registered nurse for 20 years, said her client list has doubled each year since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

As the state works to consolidate health authorities in NL’s four regions, she said she expects the government to work with private organizations like hers to address healthcare gaps. I was.

“The system is self-healing and rebuilding, so don’t drop the ball on services that are still needed,” Tavenor said.

No room for profit, union chief says

But the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Labor Union, which represents about 70,000 workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, says there is no room for benefiting public health.

“As far as we have studied this, our position is very strong, public health care is not a business, private clinics and private health care do not exist primarily for patient care.” said Mary Shortall on Wednesday.

“They exist primarily for profit. When profit becomes part of the public health care system, it generally hurts those who need it most and erodes the entire public system.”

Mary Shortall, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Workers’ Union, says moving services to private health care providers is not a solution to the state’s problems. (CBC)

Tavenor wants nurse practitioners and registered nurses to be able to bill state health plans for their services, but that’s not part of the current model.

She said she is in discussions with government and health officials about how to address billing models and salaries at private clinics so that the fees are not passed on to patients.

“Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a waiting game,” she said.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I have historically been vehemently against the privatization of health care, but it was by no means a new concept. It is operated by a private operator through cooperation with the authorities.”

Shortall said the health care system was in crisis, leaving people feeling desperate and waiting too long to see a medical professional. Medical staff are overworked and unable to take time off, she added.

She said she hoped the system would be fixed rather than more private clinics providing some services at a faster rate than the public health system.

“You’re talking about nominal fees, even $30 for a blood draw. $30 is prohibitive for so many people in this state,” she said.

“Over time, the wealthier members of our society will gain access to care if they pay for it, but now an entirely different group of people will fall through the cracks.”

Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

NL’s private healthcare facilities are slammed by demand as patients seek help outside the public system

Source link NL’s private healthcare facilities are slammed by demand as patients seek help outside the public system

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