DOC­TOR DILEMMA

Re­place­ment physi­cians have been found for Dr. Garth Sylsz and Dr. David Ste­wart, but re­cruit­ment on­go­ing for Dr. Ken Coady’s prac­tice

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - HEALTH BY EVAN CERETTI AND TERESA WRIGHT

While re­place­ment physi­cians have been found for two re­tired physi­cians, re­cruit­ment on­go­ing for Dr. Ken Coady’s prac­tice

For the last 35 years, any­time Jan­ice Bokyo felt ill, she would visit her fam­ily doc­tor, Dr. Ken Coady.

But the 81-year-old from Cape Tra­verse was sur­prised to learn this week that her long­time fam­ily doc­tor had re­tired.

She says she was only in­formed about it on July 10, just be­fore her tele­phone in­ter­view with The Guardian.

“I had ab­so­lutely no idea he was re­tir­ing. To­tally a sur­prise,” she said.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed by his re­tir­ing. He was a good doc­tor.”

Boyko said she planned to tele­phone Coady’s of­fice to try to find out about what plans the prov­ince has to to re­place him.

Boyko is not alone. Thou­sands of pa­tients in P.E.I. are find­ing out their fam­ily doc­tor has re­tired. Coady is one of three fam­ily physi­cians who has re­cently left his prac­tice for re­tire­ment.

Health P.E.I. has suc­cess­fully re­cruited clin­i­cians to take over the prac­tices of Dr. Garth Sylsz and Dr. David Ste­wart. Those re­place­ments are ex­pected to be in place and treat­ing pa­tients later this sum­mer.

Given the large size of each of these fam­ily prac­tices, the depart­ment is also re­cruit­ing nurse prac­ti­tion­ers to work col­lab­o­ra­tively with the new fam­ily physi­cians, said Dr.

An­dre Cel­liers, Health P.E.I.’s chief of fam­ily and com­mu­nity medicine.

“Nurse prac­ti­tion­ers are an im­por­tant part of our pri­mary care sys­tem. There are cur­rently 18 nurse prac­ti­tion­ers work­ing in a va­ri­ety of health­care set­tings across P.E.I., in­clud­ing 11 in pri­mary care,” Cel­liers said.

“We will con­tinue to work with pri­mary care providers to ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­te­grate more nurse prac­ti­tion­ers into col­lab­o­ra­tive fam­ily physi­cian prac­tices so they can take on more pa­tients to­gether.”

How­ever, Health P.E.I. has not yet found a re­place­ment physi­cian for Coady’s 1,800 pa­tients.

Sev­eral locum physi­cians have been se­cured for the sum­mer months as re­cruit­ment ef­forts con­tinue for a full-time physi­cian to take over the prac­tice.

“Our re­cruit­ment ef­forts be­gan as soon as Dr. Coady ad­vised Health P.E.I. of his in­ten­tions to re­tire,” Cel­liers said.

“When­ever pos­si­ble, we try to keep fam­ily prac­tices to­gether and not move them to the pa­tient registry as it makes it eas­ier when re­cruit­ing for a new physi­cian to take over.”

Mean­while, Bokyo says she will re­mem­ber her ex­pe­ri­ences with Coady over the years as noth­ing but pos­i­tive.

“He’s been a great doc­tor. I thought the world of him ac­tu­ally,” she said.

“Dr. Coady knew me in­side and out.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Dr. Ken Coady, right, shown with two of the Con­fed­er­a­tion Play­ers, re­ceives the Fam­ily Physi­cians of the Year Award at the sec­ond Fam­ily Medicine Con­fer­ence held in Char­lot­te­town re­cently. Coady, who has re­tired from his fam­ily prac­tice, will be for­mally awarded again at a gala event for FPOY of all Canada in Mon­treal this Novem­ber.

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