“Clinic 554 never turned a patient away,” says doctor on the end of abortion services in Fredericton
This week’s edition of who is saying what about public health care is compiled by Pat Van Horne.
Fredericton abortion clinic closes after almost 30 years
“This year should have marked the 30th anniversary of New Brunswickers’ continuous access to the type of abortion care we deserve – in a community setting, with a dedicated team of local, expertly trained, kind, compassionate, and trauma-informed abortion providers here in Fredericton. Instead, 2024 brings the sad end to New Brunswicker’s access to this level of skilled and tender-hearted, state of the art, care. As of today, procedural abortions will no longer be available at Clinic 554 in Fredericton, and patients living in the capital region or south of Moncton will no longer have local access to this health care…. Because Clinic 554 never turned a patient, regardless of their financial, citizenship or Medicare status, and now, without reliable access to an affordable and suitable space to provide this level of care, we can no longer continue to do so and New Brunswickers find themselves without out-of-hospital abortion care for the first time in 30 years,” said Dr. Adrian Edgar, Clinic 554, to CBC, January 31, 2024
Sault Ste. Marie Health Centre losing doctors, cutting back patients it can serve
“It’s not really a decision, but a running out of lack of other options… We have a primary care group where 30 per cent of them are over the age of 60, as of this spring. It was higher than that previously. We have numerous providers who’ve been deferring their retirement for years hoping for recruitment and we’ve not been recruiting… Medical students are not choosing office-based family medicine as a career, so I think we need to take a hard look at the supports that are offered to family physicians,” said Dr. Jodie Stewart, family physician at the Group Health Centre and CEO, Algoma District Medical Group, CBC, January 26, 2024
Editor’s note: The Group Health Centre was founded in 1963 as one of the first union-sponsored community health centres in Canada. Initially funded by thousands of Sault Ste. Marie Steelworkers, Group Health Centre promised its members primary and preventative care with no out-of-pocket cost at a time before provincial health insurance existed.
Quebec judge gives green light on COVID-19 in long-term care homes
“We didn’t know about COVID at that time (2020), but we had enough information to know what kind of threat we were exposed to with a pandemic, and there was even a plan in place to face it,” said Patrick Martin-Ménard, lawyer representing class-action members, CBC News Montreal, January 24, 2024
Letter writer responds to seniors’ home shutdown
“If there was ever an argument to stop using private money to build and run seniors’ homes, this is it. We don’t have hospital buildings in private hands (yet)… For-profit business is simply that – for profit – and when there is a more lucrative, or less-burdensome, opportunity the owners will take it. That is no way to look after vulnerable seniors, and add insult to injury the province (Ontario) is waiving the closing-notice period. Once again, (Premier Doug) Ford’s false commitment to public health care is exposed for what it is,” wrote Peter Bradley, Mississauga, in the Toronto Star, January 24, 2024
Remembering the Romanow Report on team health care
“This idea is not new. More than 20 years ago, the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada argued: If health care providers are expected to work together and share expertise in a team environment, it makes sense that their education and training should prepare them for this type of working arrangement,” wrote Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, professor in the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa and leader, Canadian Health Workforce Network; and Dr. Ivy Oandasan, professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Director of Education at the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Together, they lead Team Primary Care to the Ottawa Citizen, January 29, 2024.
Health care system on the critical list says Alberta Medical Association
“Our entire health-care system is at stake… Because if you don’t fix primary care, it’s impossible to address the issues in acute care or continuing care or mental health and addictions care,” said Paul Parks, president Alberta Medical Association, National Observer, January 25, 2024
Cancer care in Nova Scotia needs to be a team effort
“Cancer care is so far reaching… We are so interdependent with diagnostic imaging, with lab, with pathology, with pharmacy, with psychosocial, so we are heavily integrating and collaborating with all these partners in developing the program together,” said Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, medical director of the Nova Scotia cancer care program, CBC News, January 29, 2024
Health care system tips: it’s more than a visit, says Canadian Health Coalition’s Media Director
“Once you’ve engaged with the health-care system, just keep on it. Don’t give up, call back every week … Once you’ve made contact with the medical professional you are seeking, whether it’s a nurse, doctor or other specialist, you need to be super rigorous about keeping notes. Get a little notebook or sheet of paper and write down the dates, the times, the phone numbers, the names, the email addresses of the people you come into contact with. You need to stay on track of that stuff so that when or if you need to call back, you know who you talked to. Once you’ve engaged with the health-care system, just keep on it…. Be unfailingly polite. You have to remember they are human beings under a lot of pressure…. (they) are doing the best they can… Don’t give up, call back every week,” said Anne Lagacé Dowson, Canadian Health Coalition’s Media director, breast cancer survivor and mom to a child with congenital bone issues, Global News, January 25, 2024
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Cover photo: Dr. Adrian Edgar speaking to the media about the closure of Clinic 554 in Fredericton January 31, 2024.