PC candidate concerned about departure of another doctor from Springhill
Zaremba is second physician to leave in two months
Cumberland South’s PC candidate is calling on the provincial government to address Springhill’s physician shortage immediately.
Tory Rushton said Dr. Ewelina Zaremba has announced she is leaving her Springhill practice in June. She’s the second doctor to leave the area in the last two months after Dr. Mojgan Farangi closed her practice. Both doctors came to Springhill as part of an announcement in January 2015.
A third doctor, Anastaysa Fainshtein is still practising in Springhill.
The trio were recruited through the province’s former Clinical Assessment for Practice Program, which allowed qualified international medical grads to undergo extensive assessment before they are granted a licence by the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons. The program was cancelled later in 2015.
Before coming to Springhill, Zaremba had completed her residency in family medicine at Dalhousie University after obtaining her medical degree in Poland. She was a grad of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax.
He said the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s website only has one job posted for the area.
On Friday, during Question Period in the legislature, PC leader Karla MacFarlane asked Premier Stephen McNeil directly if his government would be recruiting two new doctors to replace the two that are left and he said, “No.” Rushton says that’s not good enough.
“The premier is not listening. We have a crisis on our hands here in Springhill,” said Rushton. “Doctors are leaving, which means people don’t have proper primary care but it also means we don’t have adequate staff for the emergency room.”
The PC candidate for the yet to be set byelection in Cumberland South said the emergency room at the All Saints Collaborative Emergency Centre was closed most of last week during daytime hours and it is closed Wednesday and Thursday this week during daytime hours because there are not enough doctors.
It is putting additional strain on the emergency room in Amherst that is not big enough to handle the capacity from the surrounding
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Rushton wants to see more doctors recruited to the area immediately and work to be done to find out why doctors are leaving and what can be done to keep them in the community.
“We need to get to the bottom of this doctor issue,” said Rushton. “People in Springhill deserve adequate frontline and emergency healthcare in our community.”
Nova Scotia Health Authority spokeswoman Kristen Lipscombe said the health authority’s recruitment to the northern zone, which includes Springhill, remains a priority and is ongoing.
“There is currently a posting on the NSHA’s website for one permanent physician as well as ongoing posts for locum positions,” Lipscombe said in an email. “The NSHA will continue to recruit for any positions approved.”
Lipscombe said there is flexibility with current full-time employees. If a physician expresses interest in practising in other communities, they have an opportunity to do so. Place at 902-667-7250 or Michelle Richard at the Teen Health Centre at 902-661-2383 for more information.
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Cumberland South PC candidate Tory Rushton is concerned that the second doctor in two months is set to leave Springhill in June.