Re­cruit­ing suc­cess

Two psy­chi­a­trists com­ing to re­gion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

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.

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