Two psychiatrists coming to region
Eastern Health has been successful in recruiting not one, but two psychiatrists for the Trinity Conception region.
They will replace Dr. Joan Quinn who resigned her post at the Carbonear General Hospital last November during a high profile dispute between the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and the provincial government.
Except to confirm that the psychiatrists have been recruited for the area, Jackie O’Brian, media relations specialist with Eastern Health, couldn’t say who the new physicians are or where they are from.
O’Brian said she didn’t have their names, but they would be coming in from outside the province.
When they arrive, which is expected to be sometime in June, she said they will bring the number of resident psychiatrists at the Car- bonear General up to three, which is the complement of psychiatrists for the area.
Since Dr. Quinn’s departure at the beginning of this year, O’Brien said Eastern Health has been using locums to serve the area. Locums are physicians who come into an area to help out on a temporary basis in the absence of permanent resident doctors.
Even with three resident psychiatrists, the Trinity Conception region — with an estimated population of 50,000 — will still find itself two psychiatrists below the Canadian standard, which calls for one psychiatrist per 8,000 to 10,000 people.
Of t h e 1 4 special i st s who resigned on Nov. 5, 2010, Dr. Joan Quinn was the only one who did not rescind her decision and withdraw her resignation after the doctors and the provincial government reached a new deal in December.
Four days before Christmas 2010, doctors from around the province voted overwhelmingly to accept a new deal with the province that gave them salaries equal to their colleagues working in other parts of Atlantic Canada.
That was one of the contentious issues, which influenced Dr. Quinn’s decision to leave the area and province after a year of practicing psychiatry in this region.
In an interview last November, the psychiatrist told The Compass working conditions and compensation for specialists like herself are much more attractive on the main- land. At the time she said the pay in Newfoundland and Labrador was the lowest in the country.
She said money was only one of the issues that forced her and 13 other specialists to make the painful decision to tender their resignations.
The new deal came too late for Dr. Quinn, who had already accepted a job at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
Dr. Quinn has signed a two-year contract with the Canadian Forces, after which she will reassess her employment situation, which could see her returning to the Trinity Conception region.
Dr. Quinn said she enjoyed her year working at the Carbonear General and living on the North Shore of Con c e p t i on B a y. Th e N ew Brunswick native said she loves rural Newfoundland and Labrador and wouldn’t rule out returning here some day.